Since 1996 when we opened our first Basics Bank we have been giving out free food and clothes to those in need in Southampton. As good as our State benefit system is, it often cannot respond quickly enough for life’s crises. We work with our referral agents to provide emergency food and clothes for those who fall through the gaps in the benefit net, or who are facing financial hardship due to some sort of crisis. Almost all of our food and clothes are donated by churches, schools, the public and businesses. We sort, store and make it available to our service users at various venues around the City on different days of the week.
We are not a direct access project, in that a service user needs a valid voucher (online e-voucher or paper) from a referral agent before we can help them. We have many Referral Agents who issue our vouchers to people in need when they think it is appropriate. Social workers, health visitors, doctors, community workers, shelters, drop-ins, charities, churches and many others, use our vouchers to give help to those they work with. If your organisation would like to register as a referral agent, please visit the referral agents page of our website.
While we are a Christian mission and want everyone to know about the love and opportunity that Jesus has for them, we are committed to providing this practical help and assistance of food and clothes with no strings attached. We serve anyone of any background, belief or outlook and are happy to do so.