Due to harsh benefit sanctions many of the young people who live in the foyer are dependent on local food banks and donations from nearby Borough Market to survive.
The Co-op has received a £500 "start up" grant from Southwark Council to buy such bare necessities’ as food, cleaning products, shampoo etc. at a low price which we can then be sold and money reinvested in stock so that there will be a continuous and sustainable business.
The project is being led by residents who will be involved in all aspects of the co-operative. Who will gain skills around running a business which they can then use when applying for jobs.
They have a website https://thebarenecessitiesgateway.wordpress.com and twitter account @the_necessities and would appreciate any help, support and publicity.
There is a big launch on Wednesday 17 June which I will miss since it clashes with UNISON NDC conference.
I think this is a fantastic initiative and wish it well.
Of course why the 5th richest country in the world allows vulnerable young people to go hungry in the first place is another issue.