The Scaffolding Project

 

The Scaffolding Project was established in 2017 with the aim of developing a strategic approach to alleviate the effects of poverty in east Belfast. It was born out of a working group of representatives from a number of community and voluntary organisations who were already delivering support services and who desired to work collaboratively to maximise resources in the local community. Local statistical evidence supports the reality of food and fuel poverty as the main areas of concern and wider research confirms the prevalence of food and fuel poverty as a national problem. It was agreed that whilst it isn’t possible to eradicate poverty entirely, additional work should be done to support the organisations already delivering anti-poverty services. 

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The Scaffolding Project has 3 strategic aims:

1.   To establish a more strategic approach to tackling poverty in east Belfast through the Scaffolding Project working group

2.   To map the variety of support services available to people experiencing poverty in east Belfast and establish an appropriate signposting pathway through the working group

3.   To facilitate campaigns, activities and events to raise awareness of the issues of poverty and the services aiming to alleviate it within east Belfast. Increasing the level of donation and number of volunteers in support of the organisations in the working group.


The Scaffolding Project co-ordinates the collaborative work of community and voluntary organisations within the strategic structure of a pathway. The aim being to offer holistic support to those in need and at point of crisis.

 


Campaigns, activities and events aim to raise awareness of the issues of poverty, gain additional support, and influence change at individual, organisational and policy level.To date various activities have been undertaken to address some of the issues and to support people in need:

Re-cycle School Uniform Initiative

In the summer of 2017 the first Re-cycle School Uniform initiative was rolled out and due to its success was expanded and delivered again in summer 2018. A social media community ‘call out’ was made for donations of uniform. The principle of the initiative is ‘give and receive’, allowing people to donate and/or choose items for the new school year. This enterprise was widely supported in the local community, 4 uniforms stalls were hosted in several locations including Connswater Shopping Centre and at events in C.S. Lewis Square.​ 

This initiative has raised awareness of need and attracted financial donations which allowed us to support families to purchase new school uniforms.

  • 233 visits to stalls

  • 407 items of uniform given away

  • 52 families were supported through the purchase of new school uniform.

​Further statistics available here: School Uniform Infographic

Holiday Hunger Campaign

The Holiday Hunger campaign supported by Belfast City Council and Urban Villages was delivered in July and August 2018. The programme enabled 6 community organisations in East Belfast to provide food at summer activities for children.

  • 4575 children fed over 6 weeks     
  • 314 households represented

In addition, organisations were supported to establish new working partnerships with local churches that enabled the delivery of the programme and built capacity for ongoing support throughout the year. Activities for parents were also offered alongside the opportunity to attend Food Safety training

  • 10 organisations worked together
  • 11 Food Safety certificates achieved

​Further statistics available here: Holiday Hunger Infographic

Fundraising fun 

In late November 2018 the Scaffolding Project members hosted their second Re-gift stall at the Christmas Fayre at C.S. Lewis Square. The team worked together to source items for sale and raised much needed resources for the crisis fund.

Further fundraising took place in December serving festive treats at the Urban Villages EastSide Christmas Fayre in Skainos.

Membership

Membership of the project exists across a variety of organisations (see below).

Funding

The Scaffolding project is supported by the Urban Villages Initiative, this is a key action within the Northern Ireland Executive’s ‘Together: Building a United Community’ Strategy. It is designed to improve good relations outcomes and to help develop thriving places where there has previously been a history of deprivation and community tension.