For 2022, the Tripe Marketing Board chose to support a number of food bank projects in the run-up to Christmas. Altogether, over £16,000 has been raised through the generosity of our friends and supporters, with this figure set to rise in the weeks and months ahead. We did this by offering to donate £2 from the royalties from sales of any of our books sold by 25 December 2022 – but principally this focused on Forgotten Yorkshire and Parts of North Derbyshire and Humberside, which for much of November and December was offered by Amazon at a reduced price of just 99p.
We began our campaign on 12 November 2022 when, with the help of supporters on Twitter, we identified the We Care Community Hub and Food Bank at Kath’s Place in Lewisham as a suitable recipient. In a period of just 10 days up to the end of November, our supporters raised a phenomenal £10,150 for Kath’s Place.
The Hub’s chair Ray Barron Woolford has told us he believes as much as £8,000 more was added to their Crowdfunder directly by our supporters in the social media, or through donations inspired by our Appeal.
In the first week of December, our focus of support switched to a one-woman Food Pantry project based in Eaglesham Street in Glasgow. Supporters raised £916 in this short time, and the TMB pledged to increase this to £1100. This will hopefully help stock the larder for some months to come.
For this stage of our campaign (which ran from 8 – 25 December 2022), focus switched to Yorkshire, where we began raising funds for two community food bank projects based in the county. £4,156 was raised, to be split equally between the FoodAware CIC in Doncaster (which supports a number of food banks across South Yorkshire) and The Welcome Centre in Huddersfiled. In addition, a number of donations totalling hundreds of pounds were made directly to the food banks by our supporters on social media or from organisations such as the Orrell Park branch of u3a.
We encouraged our supporters to buy as many copies of Forgotten Yorkshire as they could, since each 99p purchase triggered a £2 donation from our royalties. Some supporters bought as many as a dozen copies over the period, buying the maximum of 3 per week that amazon allowed. We appealed to supporters to donate any excess copies to local charity shops, so that even more income could be generated from the initial 99p.
One of our supporters helped us by getting feedback from shops that had received the excess copies, so we know that they were offered for sale at anything between 50p and £6 per copy. Many shops reported that they quickly sold out their initial allocation. For a short period, the TMB was able to purchase bulk copies of Forgotten Yorkshire, and in this way multiple charity shops in Yorkshire were stocked with the book and copies were also sent to our adopted food banks there as well as to Kath’s Place in Deptford. These can be used to generate additional income for the food banks, or gifted to those who are using their services.
We cannot know for certain the amount raised for the wide variety of charity shops that received free copies through this process, but we expect it to be a minimum of £3000.
The TMB established a Just Giving Crowdfunder with the aim of embarrassing Yorkshire MPs to support our Appeal, after an initial approach to them via Twitter had come to nothing. When we wrote to one MP who no longer uses Twitter he did kindly respond (thanks, Andrew Percy MP), so we changed the focus of the Just Giving page to being about establishing a General Fund to support Yorkshire food banks.
Raising money for our General Fund for food banks in Yorkshire will be a focus throughout 2023. Through our Christmas Appeal, we had the privilege to meet a great number of volunteers working in food banks or charity shops across the north. Lest there be any doubt, the TMB detests the fact that food banks exist in the UK in the 21st Century, and we’d like to see the day when they are no longer needed. But no one should turn their backs to those who are hungry, and we have nothing but admiration for those who are working and volunteering in community food banks across the land.
Our chairman Sir Norman Wrassle launched our appeal back in November with the earnest hope that tripe books would soon by available in charity shops all across the nation. We may not have achieved that objective, but we made a good start on it.
From henceforth, the TMB has pledged that £2 from the sale of every copy of Forgotten Yorkshire will go to food banks in Yorkshire in perpetuity. We believe it’s a good value read even at £10, and there are plenty of folk in Yorkshire and amongst the Yorkshire diaspora who have still to discover what a great little book it is. That includes all of the Yorkshire MPs, of course, with the honourable exception of Andrew Percy.
Working with the talented musician Tommy Mackay, Sir Norman has also penned a campaign single – I’ve Forgotten More Than You’ll Ever Know About Yorkshire – which can be downloaded for personal use, and 90% of the royalties received from its sale will go to our General Fund for Yorkshire food banks. We’d love it if you can support our appeal by downloading it.
The TMB has managed to prevent itself from being abolished by ‘flying under the radar’ – a strategy first advocated by Flt Lt ‘Binky’ Harrison, one of the chairmen of the TMB’s predecessor organisation the British Tripe Council. We deliberately purport to be a small meat-based marketing board, but we know our supporters and followers in social media have got big hearts. When it comes to responding to fundraising campaigns, they consistently deliver. They recruited friends and workmates to help out with the task with all the passion and commitment of an Avon seller trying to reach their monthly sales target. Our thanks go to them.
We’d like to thank anyone who has bought a copy (or copies!) of Forgotten Yorkshire, or who has helped this project in any way – whether it be researching lists of Yorkshire MPs’ Twitter handles, ringing charity shops, offering advice and support behind the scenes, Retweeting our Tweets or merely patiently accepting our pestering over the last two months. Particular thanks to Greg Barradale at the Big Issue for turbocharging the campaign with his beautifully written articles and to our individual board members for their continued support.
You are all amazing people who have demonstrated what can be achieved when people come together.
We’ll continue to report on Stage Six of our campaign in the weeks and months ahead.