A lot can happen in one year.
A group of women in Lewisham know this all too well after coming together to create their own community group in July 2020 in order to feed young people and families in poverty.
In one year, the Legendary Community Club has delivered thousands of meals and food packages and is nowhere near stopping.
Led by founder and CEO Alexandra McMillan, the group is now set to employ 25 young people to provide over 2,500 meals per week for children on free school meals over the summer holidays as part of the government-wide holiday activities and food programme (HAF).
Speaking about the upcoming summer project funded by Lewisham Council, Alexandra said: “We may be a small community group, but we hope to lead the change and that others will follow. We know 75% of children in poverty are in a household with one income and that people not being paid a living wage is one of the root causes of poverty. This needs to change.”
Talking about the journey so far, she said: “I can’t believe what we’ve achieved and never would I have imagined where we would be today. I love how we are leading the way to create change in our community. No child should ever go hungry and we are doing everything we can to make sure that is the case.”
Alexandra and the leadership team not only manage the daily operations, stock intake, community partnerships and volunteers for the project, but have also been key to a pilot trailing the efficiency of a cash-first approach over the existing provision of food vouchers.
While results are expected shortly, there is already strong indication that providing families with cash is more effective and dignified because it gives families more freedom and flexibility to buy the things they really want.
Earlier on in its journey, the group successfully took part in the HAF pilot scheme at Easter, providing food for children on free school meals who attend activity clubs.
Through this, they were able to employ 7 young people at London Living Wage.
To find out more and explore the roles available at Legendary Community Club, visit legendarycommunityclub.org/.