Project Touchdown – The Face of Our New Generation

In a world full of rising austerity and prejudice, small acts of kindness can make the biggest difference.

Many charities such as The National Trust, British Heart Foundation and OXFAM work on a national and international scale to try to combat poverty and diseases that are responsible for so many lives. However smaller charities in the UK are often overlooked, despite 100% of the proceeds being donated to the cause that they’re fighting for. One of these charities is ‘Project Touchdown’, which started in 2014 by the student and entrepreneur, Zishan Faisal.

We got in contact with the brains behind ‘Project Touchdown’, Zishan Faisal, an IT student at University of Derby, to ask some important questions about how the charity functions on a weekly basis. 

Where did the idea for Project Touchdown come from?

“While studying in Nottingham I approached a homeless individual who talked about his life and how he became homeless. I pitched him the idea of having a street kitchen where we would provide hot food and drinks, at that time I was unaware of other groups. I transferred to Derby University where I then set up the project.”

What results were you hoping for and have you achieved them?

“At the very beginning the goal was to have an indoor sitting area, and now we have that. It allows us to sit down with them, discuss any problems etc.”

How do you fund such an organisation?

“Project Touchdown is funded by local community donations. We are not supported or funded by any organisations.”

Do you have volunteers/paid people working?

“We do not pay any volunteer.”

What sort of food do you offer and how often is it given out?

“Each week we have various food; Curry, Rice, Pizzas, Chips, Samosas, Stew, Pasties, Cakes etc.” 

How do you market the charity to get more people involved? Or even stand out from other charities?

“Project Touchdown is promoted via social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. Also volunteers and donations are recruited via word of mouth.”

Do you aim for national/international level success and branching out from Derby into other cities?

“In a few months we do hope to take the project to different cities where there is a need. Also we hope to do some international work, as we are still not as established as other charities we are unable to take a big leap.”

What is on the itinerary during your weekly meetings?

“All of the volunteers are split up into groups; food, drinks, clothes and outreach. The outreach team walks around the Derby city Centre with packed food, this food is then given to those that are unaware of this service or who cannot leave their area.”

How do you find balancing studying and charity work?

“I really enjoy what I do, so it’s not an extra burden for me or something I have to do.”

 

Hiba Bukhara

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