Foodbank Annual Report

Oswestry and Borders Food Bank

website:-  oswestryandborders.foodbank.org.uk

CTOD AGM 8 th November 2016.

Report by Oswestry and Borders Food Bank

by Liz Jermy – manager.

This is the first annual report made by the new manager Liz Jermy.

Liz took over management of the FB officially on 8th June 2016. Phil Simpson is moving onto pastures new up North to be nearer to his family including grandchildren! A huge and grateful thank you to Phil who did an amazing job with the FB from it’s inception. He is certainly a hard act to follow! We sent him off with a tree for his garden and an emergency food parcel - with a twist: it contained some extra special goodies!The FB has experienced big increases in people using the FB this summer and Autumn. A steady stream at Ellesmere.Summer scheme – this was in conjunction with schools who referred families in need to the scheme. Families could access the FB once a week through the summer. ( having to feed the family all through the summer with no help from breakfast clubs and free school meals can make a big difference in financial outlay)NFA ( no fixed address) folks and homeless – an increase as well .

These service users are a different group to the families in that they can appear less resilient and more in need for a longer time with no definite end to the difficulties. They are reliant on other services stepping in to help and waiting lists can be long. Homelessness is very complicated and definitions can change according to services who are helping. Seen an increase in single young men.

We have been supporting the Women’s Refuge and the Syrian refugees through Refugee Action. We recently helped one Greek gentlemen get back to Greece through helping him find where his passport was, buying a flight and in liaising with the Greek Embassy.

We are now part of Tesco Fairshare which means we pick up the left over bakery, fruit and veg twice a week. This all goes free to the clients, volunteers, the W. Refuge.We are also part of Sainsbury’s Community Partnership whereby we receive flowers twice a month which, again, can go to the clients, volunteers and W. Refuge.

Changing the inside of the Food Bank to accommodate more  clients – we now have a storage container off site to accommodate the very long life produce and which has made more room in Beatrice Street. Sainsbury’s in their new refurbish have donated shelving – the builders will be bringing it across and fixing it for us soon.Liz led a training day in September to bring on new volunteers as others leave us after long and dedicated service. We even have an assistance dog who comes in once a week to be with our clients.

Management team are Christians and will remain so, Trustees likewiseVolunteers are a mix of those who follow the Christian faith and those who don’t: this is in itself a ministry.

After the summer, we were low on stock and made appeals through the media and through CTOD. The response was good and we have since had incredibly generous harvest donations from schools and churches. The harvest giving was between 70kg- over300kg! Amazing! The Food Bank is now well stocked again

Our Tesco Neighbourhood Collection is in early December.

We will be giving Christmas hampers to families around the area in conjunction with other agencies such as Chirk Charity Relief, Refugee Action in Oswestry, Age Concern in Ellesmere and Home Start. the schools will also be invited to refer any families for hampers.

The first 5 months of being manager has been incredibly busy and lively. We are accepting new agencies almost monthly to join us as partners who hold vouchers including The Integrated Community Services who are a team of social workers and medical professionals who lead the re-ablement service for Oswestry and surrounding area and Recovery Partnership who work with addicts.

Liz has been into 8 schools to raise the profile of what we do and has taught lessons in 3 schools thus far with others wanting to have us in next term. Schools give a donation for this service.The Food Bank are also exploring the possibility of offering money advice to clients as we see an increase in pay day loans, increases in personal debt and benefit reductions and sanctions. Liz recently facilitated a meeting in October with some likeminded individuals who met together to discuss this and pool ideas. Watch this space!