Focus4Hope and Noah’s Ark Team Up to Support Money-Savvy Communities.

Focus4Hope (F4H) has partnered with Calderdale financial advice and therapeutic services charity Noah’s Ark to further support individuals and families who walk through their doors.

In February last year, Focus4Hope in partnership with the FoodSavers Network launched the Friday Food Club – a community supermarket where individuals can stock up on high-quality fresh and store cupboard staples for a low weekly membership fee, with a percentage of the fee being saved into a Credit Union account.

This scheme aims to reduce the dependency on food banks and free food provisions by combining low-cost food, and the opportunity to save money.

However, Focus4Hope realised a heavy dependence on the community supermarket was ultimately making the model unsustainable.

The current Cost of Living crisis has made things increasingly difficult for families and individuals across the whole country – which is most likely why we are seeing more of a reliance on emergency provisions.

The Friday Food Club has now switched from weekly to fortnightly, with the extra Friday being made available for 1-1 meetings for members to come down and chat with the team at F4H, giving many that much-needed opportunity to open up and engage.

These 1-1’s have allowed the charity to gain insights into the root causes behind the reliance on the Food Club, often attributing this to financial struggles and concerns.

In response, the Brighouse-based charity decided to rebrand the Friday Food Club model and sought assistance from Noah’s Ark.

This new partnership with Noah’s Ark has meant that new and old members of the Food Club are enrolled on a highly beneficial course designed to equip people with essential skills and knowledge to better budget their finances and manage their money.

The ‘Budget Like a Boss’ course covers topics such as distinguishing between priority and non-priority spending, managing debt, making savvy food purchases, and budget-friendly meal planning and cooking.

The course also addresses ways to reduce expenditures, increase income, utilize bank accounts for better budgeting, and understand the impact of impulse buying on budgets.

Many participants, some of whom had never previously had a savings account, have now gained confidence in saving and managing their money without fear.

Upon completing the course it is anticipated that the frequency of reliance on the Friday Food Club will decrease, with some participants eventually not needing to access the provision at all.

The course currently runs once a month and has had full attendance so far, with the results and positive feedback Focus4Hope have strived for.

The Friday Food Club is still available for those in need, please visit the Focus4Hope website for more information: or call 01484 443979.

For more useful information, services and news to support you with the Cost of Living in Calderdale, please visit the VSI Alliance Cost of Living social media pages:

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