Our Story

How we started

It all started with AY Group Community Services CIC, which began in 2015 as a community hub which was then converted into a Food Bank to combat the growing problem of Covid-19. Back in 2015, we were recognised and awarded 13 contracts for our impeccable work and in addition to this we were awarded The Community Leader Of The Year – 2019.

Following on from this, when the UK went into lock-down on March 16th 2020, we converted into a Food Bank to help the Community through the Covid-19 crisis due to a large influx of food donations. Danny Barnes, our CEO, quit his job to pursue helping those in need of our services thanks to a Co-Op donation we received as well as Peabody giving us permission to convert to a Food Bank. This marked the unofficial start of Shop And Donate in April.

 

Our Motivation

The main focus of Shop And Donate since April has been helping the wider community and areas of the UK through Covid-19. Our CEO Danny Barnes thought forward about the impacts of this pandemic and strived to build a self-sustainable, community based service to help everyone, regardless of background, via food packages, telephone befriending and hot meal delivery. So far we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback on our services which has urged us to continue our work and aspire to be the No. 1 Community Online Shop.

Our Goals

  • Within 6 months we want to be self-sufficient and sustainable by sourcing all our products and removing plastic from our packaging to reduce our carbon footprint
  • Help everyone through the short and long-term impacts of Covid-19
  • Get our own premises to be able to secure a long-term community base
  • Increase our pool of volunteers to reach a larger audience of people needing our services

Our Vision

In the long-term, we wish to integrate all of our services from AY Group Community Services CIC, Acknowledging Youths CIC and Shop And Donate so as to make all our services as accessible as possible to everyone and anyone. In addition to this, we aspire to work more cohesively with both the community and local authorities to be able to: run all our services fluidly and reach a larger audience of vulnerable people. Furthermore, a large vision of ours is to be able to set up Meals On Wheels as a restaurant, which functions both as a restaurant and as a community hub that donates hot food to those in need.

Once more, our cornerstones that governs everything we do are as follows:

  • Compassion
  • Community Cohesion
  • Equality in diversity
  • Perseverance

Our Aim

To provide a safety net of community support in the most deprived boroughs of London.

  • Compassion
  • Community Cohesion
  • Equality in diversity
  • Perseverance

 

Response To Covid

During the corona-virus pandemic, UK vulnerable residents need help.The corona-virus pandemic has already fundamentally changed the way we live. It’s an anxious and upsetting time, and while the primary concern is health, our financial well being is also important. We have been organising food parcels for our vulnerable residents. And this has stretch out to all our boroughs. We are ringing over 2650 elderly and vulnerable residents across the community. We provide them help in case they need food and essentials supplies if they are isolated or if they have a health condition. We are here for them even if they have any concern about a family member, friend or neighbour. We all want to help each get through this difficult time. We also have a lot of opportunities for them to get involved as a volunteer with us.