Selby Trust’s Christmas campaign is a tremendous success

Selby Trust set up in 1992 and one of our Social Action Hubs, manages community facilities such as the Selby Centre, which brings together a mix of individuals and organisations, primarily from BME, refugee and other excluded communities in Tottenham, Haringey, North London and beyond.

Selby Centre has developed deep relationships with the community through it’s community organising work and has been a catalyst for community action. However, at the beginning of the pandemic, the emergent need from local people meant that it had to refocus its attentions and become a frontline response providing food and other essential supplies to those who needed. Since then it has developed a community led food network that distributes food twice weekly, supports up to 600 families per week and has provided a staggering 20,000 food parcels per month on average. It receives food parcels containing a variety of food products provided through Tesco’s Community Food Connection scheme, which is run in partnership with food redistribution charity FareShare.

The last 2 years have been incredibly difficult for everyone, and I think as a community we’ve learnt the importance of pulling together through adversity. When the pandemic struck – we knew we had to offer our support in whatever way we could, and the social infrastructure that we built through the work of community organising has been essential in doing so. Our Food Hub has been incredibly successful, and we feel privileged to have been able to provide such a vital service to people throughout the pandemic.

The Selby Centre Food Hub’s campaign for Christmas 2021 was to Make Mums Smile due to the tough time they had experienced in keeping families together during the pandemic, and the toll of continuously living on a low income. This campaign was supported by Westminster Kingsway College, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, Duke’s Academy, Lotus Light Buddhist Foundation as well as Mutual Aid groups such as Food Bank Aid, Harcourt Road Mutual Aid Group, Finchley Food Bank, Bounds green food Bank and Muswell Hill Mutual Aid group.

In December they reached;

  • 1219 households
  • 4165 people

There were a remarkable;

  • 1,920 gifts donated
  • 835 Christmas hampers given
  • 10,031 food parcels and other essentials donated
  • 8917 clothing items provided and
  • 527 books/education materials given.

They also supported 32 community groups. The donations they received totalled £5,816.60 including gifts such as toys, books, toiletry gift sets, hats, gloves, scarves, sweets, chocolates, biscuits. The estimated value given out in December 2021 totalled a phenomenal £136,746.

The Selby Food Hub couldn’t have Made Mums Smile without the amazing 2,304 hours of time given by volunteers.  The Food Hub volunteers speak a total of 28 languages and in October, November, and December they recruited 49 new volunteers. They have recruited and trained over 200 local volunteers since the start of the project.

The Selby Food Hub has deep connections with the local community and has been a lifesaver for thousands of local people affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Donating to the Food Hub has become an important way in which people less affected can show their solidarity with their neighbours who are struggling. There’s a strong view that we are all in this crisis together, and we’re not prepared to see families going without. The scale of the effort at Selby Food Hub has been quite staggering, and the commitment of both staff and volunteers almost superhuman


If you've got a great story about community organising and the positive impact it is having in your community we would love to hear from you.