• Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

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The People’s Kitchen Provide Support for Those Facing Financial and Mental Health Challenges

PK slate

The People’s Kitchen is well known for its work with the vulnerable people of Newcastle particularly centred around food and friendship. As part of their ongoing welfare service to their “Friends”, they have put steps in place to combat the growing issue of debt and its associated mental health implications.

The Kitchen have commissioned Clean Slate, a not-for-profit charity which provides financial education and support to hard-to-reach vulnerable people such as those battling drug and alcohol addiction. Their service was set up to provide free, confidential face to face support to help; not only ‘wipe the slate clean’, but to educate people so that they can manage their own finances effectively, and not fall back in to the same financial problems in the future.

Set up originally in 2011 by a recovering alcoholic turned debt and benefit advisor, the organisation aims to provide comprehensive assistance to individuals struggling with debt and with unique first-hand experience of overcoming alcoholism and navigating debt issues, the three-strong team, who all are in recovery themselves, bring a unique perspective to the table. Their collective personal journeys have equipped the team with invaluable insights and empathy into the challenges people face, both financially and emotionally, having experienced it all themselves.

The relationship between People’s Kitchen Newcastle and Clean Slate underscores a holistic approach to community support. By addressing financial difficulties alongside mental health concerns, the organisations aim to empower individuals to regain stability and confidence in their lives. Financial strain often takes a toll on mental well-being, exacerbating existing challenges and creating new ones. Through tailored support and guidance, The People’s Kitchen and Clean Slate seek to alleviate these burdens and pave the way for a brighter future for those they serve.

“The People’s Kitchen Newcastle is thrilled to work with Clean Slate,” said Trustee Jackie Boardman. “We recognise the importance of addressing not just the immediate needs of our Friends, but also the underlying issues that contribute to their struggles. The feedback from our “Friends” is Clean Slate take the time to listen and help.  They can see people for the initial contact in a place they trust. I am delighted that they have helped 47 of our “Friends” already. The team’s expertise and empathy them an invaluable asset which benefits everyone who finds themselves in financial difficulties.”

Clean Slate’s original founder Graham Brewis shared his perspective on the importance of understanding and addressing the interconnected nature of financial and mental health issues. “We’ve seen first-hand the impact that financial difficulties can have on mental well-being,” he said. “By offering practical assistance and emotional support, we aim to provide the “Friends” of The People’s Kitchen with the tools they need to overcome these challenges and lead as normal a life as possible.”

Everyone at The People’s Kitchen is a volunteer and all staff are unpaid. They receive no government grants and every penny received is used for the benefit of their “Friends”.