New Glasgow charity to tackle poverty amid 'decade-long' cost-of-living crisis

New Glasgow charity to tackle poverty amid 'decade-long' cost of living crisis <i>(Image: Gordon Terris, Newsquest)</i>
New Glasgow charity to tackle poverty amid 'decade-long' cost of living crisis (Image: Gordon Terris, Newsquest)

A newly-established Glasgow charity is working to tackle poverty amid the cost-of-living crisis, which it claims "has been around for a decade".

The Courtyard Pantry Enterprise, based on Wester Common Drive, runs multiple projects to support the local community.

Since separating from Flourish House, its primary focus has been to combat poverty in the area.

Dale Todd, managing director of the charity, said: “We have a food pantry where we provide discounted food to the community, but we also have a community cafe, which is a welcoming place for anyone to spend time with each other in.

“We are also just about to open another community cafe, on Garscube Road, and we run a catering enterprise where we create secure, well-paid jobs in catering and hospitality.

“We are focusing on the alleviation of poverty through the creation of jobs and help those facing barriers of employment and also providing affordable, good quality food for the local community."

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The charity was able to strike out on their own due to the demand, which has increased recently, according to Mr Todd.

More importantly, he explained, the financial issues people face are not recent.

He said: “I would say that there has been a cost-of-living crisis in certain parts of the city for around a decade, maybe even longer.

“I am often asked, 'have you noticed an increase in demand after Covid, or in recent months' and, to be honest, we had a queue at the pantry the first day we opened.

“There has been a crisis for many years, and now Covid and inflation have worsened an already chronic problem.

“Yes, we have seen more demand but that has always been there."

The Courtyard Pantry officially opened in March 2021 in response to the pandemic, with support from Queen’s Cross Housing Association, FareShare and The Scottish Pantry Network.

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The managing director said: “Flourish House used to run a community cafe on Western Common Road which we adapted into a food pantry.

“I pitched the idea to my CEO John and the existing team at the cafe.

“As a project worker, I realised the value of the community cafe in terms of providing employability opportunities for people facing barriers in employment.

“I realised it was an important project and I wanted to see if we could open at a time when everything was closed.

“In my experience, anything good takes a lot of hard work.

“So, it was a lot of work and a lot of effort was required from myself and the members of the team, but I would say that we were pushing an open door.

“What that means is that the board of Flourish House were very receptive to the idea."

Now, the team support more than 200 people every week and have more than1000 members.

Courtyard Pantry Enterprise is the North West heat winner in the Team Award category of this year’s Glasgow Times Community Champions, supported by Glasgow City Council, Wheatley Glasgow, Trades House Glasgow and Merck.

Prior to the award ceremony on Thursday, December 8, we are highlighting some of the charities and organisations that are in the running for the prize.

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