Emergency Relief - Joining forces to head off hunger and homelessness

A new Catholic Partnership for COVID Emergency Relief is set to deliver seven local projects around the Diocese of Nottingham, writes Paul Bodenham, Programme Leader for Social Action.


Catholic parishes have combined with charities in Nottingham, Leicester, Derby and Derbyshire to provide emergency relief over the summer of 2020 to some of the people most at risk of hunger and homelessness in the COVID-19 pandemic.

With financial support from the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation, the Diocese of Nottingham’s Catholic Partnership for Covid Emergency Relief will be reaching out to people requiring emergency help.

  • Emmanuel House in Nottingham will re-open with a safe working environment, providing advice and support to homeless and vulnerable people in the city
  • The Friary in West Bridgford will give vulnerable people access to food and washing, and support with benefit claims and housing options
  • The Padley Group will ensure that 70 rough sleepers in Derby have a hot meal each day for the first fortnight after leaving temporary accommodation at the city’s Holiday Inn
  • The Justice and Peace Group in the parishes of Blessed Sacrament and St Peter’s in the west of Leicester will support local foodbanks to provide foodstuffs appropriate to the diversity of their clients.
  • The E2 Food Hub will supply food to the most vulnerable people in the deprived LE4 postcode of Leicester
  • Hope for Belper will purchase food to cover the shortfall in donations and a surge in demand for food aid
  • Buxton’s Zink Project will provide foodbank users with much-needed advice and support for with benefit claims and utility costs.

The grant of £36,102 has been awarded to the Catholic Diocese of Nottingham, which covers much of the East Midlands. A call for applications from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales had been circulated to all parishes in the Diocese, and the seven projects took up the invitation.

Emmanuel House and Padley were founded by Catholic religious orders.However all the projects are actively supported by Catholic parishes and volunteers, through prayer, financial donations and practical help.

Through its programme of work the partnership is helping to lay foundations for a new ‘Caritas’ organisation due for launch in Nottingham Diocese in 2021. Its aim is to foster missionary parishes, support Catholic social outreach, and build up the Church’s witness for justice, peace and care for the environment.

Our partners say...

This grant will mean that foodbank clients, who may be from different African countries or Southern Asia, will receive foods which are more like 'home cooking'. Something we all crave when life is hard. - Celia Fisher, coordinator of Blessed Sacrament & St Peter’s Justice and Peace group

As a long standing charity working to empower homeless and disadvantaged people in the Rushcliffe and Nottingham area, maintaining our services during the pandemic was our first thought. Operating in a different way to normal has required our staff and volunteers to really adapt. They have done this fantastically. The change in the way we work has brought financial challenges in sourcing different produce to deliver food in a different way than we have previously. The support of the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation will help us to face this challenge. We are honoured to be working with the Diocese of Nottingham and the other inspirational charities involved in this partnership. – Ben Talbot, Chief Executive Officer, The Friary