Dads House, originally founded to help single fathers raise their children alone, has recently published its COVID-19 Report which reveals that it has supported families, primarily via its foodbanks, from all over London during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our second foodbank in West Brompton has been successfully operating since March 2020. Our first foodbank at Elephant and Castle, set up before the pandemic struck, initially supported 50 families a week,” said William (Billy) McGranaghan, Dads House founder. “This figure rose to a staggering 800 during the COVID-19 crisis and we estimate that we have helped more than 20,000 families over the last six months of the pandemic.”
“Between our two foodbanks, and despite the Elephant and Castle facility closing in September of last year, we have provided over 240,000 meals, served 57,000 people and handed out three tonnes of food every week,” continued McGranaghan.
It is clear from the report that Dads House is not just about food. It also provides important practical and emotional support to families, single parents, and carers.
Key services that have continued throughout the pandemic, include two weekly pro bono family law clinics led by top lawyers Farrer & Co, barristers Coram Chambers and Law Works. Onsite drug and alcohol testing is provided, the latter is essential for many fathers to resolve visiting and spousal arrangements.
Important Dads House programmes and activities that will restart when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted include life coaching, football club, book club, and breakfast club.
“A critical factor in the success of our foodbank operation is Dads House’s decision to treat everyone as an individual,” added McGranaghan. “Instead of receiving a pre-prepared package, Dads House volunteers and team members ask how many people are in the family, what their ages are, and what cooking facilities are available, in order to provide the most appropriate food.”
The food itself has been provided in partnership with Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, M&S, The Felix Project and City Harvest. In addition, Delancey and The Earls Court Development Company have provided both foodbank premises free-of-charge.
Importantly, the report also covers the impact of COVID-19 on the charity’s finances and gives a cost breakdown for each of the services and clubs it provides.
“On behalf of Delancey and The Earls Court Development Company, we are delighted to support the incredible work of Dads House, its services have been vital during the pandemic,” commented Jamie Ritblat, Founder and Chairman of Delancey. “It’s commitment to providing additional services through practical and emotional support are another fantastic way its team are serving locals communities. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Dads House in the future.”
Dads House continues to build trust throughout London, following a decade of providing a unique service to those looking for practical help.
“The response to our emergency appeals during COVID-19 is truly humbling and I am grateful to the trusts, foundations and donors who choose to fund our work, as well as my remarkable team who selflessly gave their time to serve our community. Working together, we will ensure that our small charity continues to make a big impact!” concluded McGranaghan.