Thursday, 6 December 2012

The Food Bank

As we begin the run up to Christmas, there are a number of vital charities in the Camborne, Redruth and Hayle area which are getting to work to help those less fortunate. Last weekend I visited a number of Christmas Fayres which aimed to raise much needed funds to support their good work, including Searchlight, the excellent youth group based in Redruth, and Camborne Church.

Visits to such groups always boosts my faith in human nature. The central dynamic is nearly always the same. It usually starts with the energy, determination and leadership of just one person. The energy and commitment they show becomes infectious and spreads so suddenly there is a small team of people who can make things happen. When others in the community see the good work being delivered, many others become inspired to get involved and the whole enterprise can snowball.

On Saturday I also visited the Food Bank project based at the Centenary Chapel on Wesley Street which has now been running for a number of years and is starting its preparations for Christmas. The driving force behind the project is Don Gardner but he has incredible support from volunteers both connected with churches in Camborne and outside. I was really heartened to hear of the excellent contribution being made by the Sixth Form at Camborne Science and International Academy. Students there have made it their charity this year and have already run projects to raise some £100 which they then used to buy fresh supplies for the Food Bank.

The concept is simple: members of the public and sometimes local businesses donate food to the charity and local agencies can issue vouchers for food to those families facing genuine financial crisis. As well as helping those facing problems all year round, they make a special effort at Christmas. Last year they put together 190 Christmas lunch hampers for families in the area and this year they are set to deliver 200. They have also branched out to take over the running of the Toy Library from the Council where families can choose from a selection of hundreds of toys which can be hired at a cost of just 20 pence per week. When thieves recently stole a cash box from the charity, Don Gardner was overwhelmed by the generosity of local people with many coming forward to contribute financially or to give toys that their own children had outgrown so that another child could benefit from them. This year they also plan to run another project to buy Christmas presents for children so that there are no “no-go areas” for Father Christmas this year.

If you would like to volunteer time or money to help the Food Bank this Christmas or have unwanted toys, bikes etc you could donate, please email donovan.gardner@sky.com or telephone 01209 714592.