Feeding Birkenhead is a coalition of churches, community groups, and other organisations working together to eliminate hunger in Birkenhead. It was set up in 2014 by Frank Field MP as the first pilot area of the Feeding Britain programme.
Feeding Birkenhead is developing a major new project to help families dig themselves out of poverty, and away from the clutches of destitution. It seeks to establish a Citizens' Supermarket which allows Birkenhead residents to buy their weekly shopping at a fraction of the normal price. This service will:
- allow people a period of stability in their finances during which time help will be offered to ensure they do not return to hunger. This help will include money management, debt advice, employment support and cooking skills
- aim to link up with a credit union that will help families manage their weekly income and offer loans to buy at low rates of interest household goods so that families have an alternative to high-cost credit
- work closely with the free school uniforms service and the St Vincent de Paul Society, whose shops will be a few yards away in Birkenhead’s main shopping precinct, to help customers on low incomes gain good quality, reconditioned school uniforms for their children, as well as household furniture including white goods
Crucially, the lessons learned from the Citizens’ Supermarket, as well as Feeding Birkenhead’s other projects, will be used to gain reforms that reduce the numbers of people who are hungry. Feeding Birkenhead has already gained such reforms through the improved administration of tax credits, an automatic registration process for free school meals, and an end to rip-off charges for gas and electricity on prepayment meters, to name only three.
To help supply the Citizens' Supermarket, as well as other projects helping to feed hungry families, Feeding Birkenhead wishes to establish a central warehouse containing fridges and freezers so that as much surplus food heading for landfill or the furnace can be intercepted, stored, and sold at a heavily reduced price. It would:
- work very closely, and in association with Wirral's outstanding food bank, as well as FareShare and the rest of the Feeding Birkenhead network
- attempt to intercede in the supply of good food to waste by building up links with wholesalers, manufacturers rejecting the beginning and end of food runs, and the regional depots and 'dotcom' centres of supermarkets.
The Shop Manager’s key objective will be successfully to establish a Citizens’ Supermarket in Birkenhead. The main tasks that will need to be completed in pursuit of this objective are:
- quickly to secure an agreement for the site of the new Citizens’ Supermarket
- the refurbishment of the site so the Citizens’ Supermarket is ready for business as soon as possible
- to set up a reliable, long-term supply of surplus food to sustain the Citizens’ Supermarket’s stock
- the recruitment of shop staff and volunteers
- to ensure the Citizens’ Supermarket runs smoothly at all times so that it is able to deliver an effective service to the residents of Birkenhead
- co-ordinating with the Feeding Birkenhead network on the provision of benefits, employment, debt, cooking, and budgeting support within the Citizens’ Supermarket, as well as the distribution of stock from within the Citizens’ Supermarket to help feed children during school holidays and at breakfast clubs
- evaluating various aspects of the Citizens’ Supermarket from its first six months of operation
The Shop Manager will:
- be employed on a full-time basis
- be paid a salary of £23,000
- begin on an initial eight-month contract with Feeding Britain to cover the establishment and initial trial period of the Citizens’ Supermarket
- report to the Feeding Birkenhead Citizens’ Supermarket Steering Group
Feeding Birkenhead seeks a self-starter who is committed to serving the residents of Birkenhead, and who possesses:
- a strong track record of delivering excellent customer service
- a proven ability to recruit and develop staff and volunteers
- shop management experience, ideally involving food
- a proven ability to devise and implement robust business plans
- a proven ability to manage multiple priorities
Experience in the redistribution of surplus food, as well as working closely with people in difficult financial circumstances, would be an advantage, but is not essential.
How to apply
Please email a one-page cover letter and one-page CV to Andrew Forsey by clicking apply by 7pm on Wednesday 23rd August. Interviews will take place shortly after this closing date, with the successful candidate starting as soon as possible after they have been appointed.
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