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Welcome to the summer edition of the Foodbank newsletter. A lot has been happening since our last edition, and we are excited to share our news and updates with you.
New Warehouse Facilities
We are pleased and blessed to be moving to a new warehouse from 1st August.
The new warehouse is much bigger – enough to hold our stock, increase our efficiency and hopefully keep our volunteers a little warmer.
This will be a massive change for us to have everything in one location in Chettisham and we thank Glovers for making this possible and to all the donors who regularly support our work ensuring that we can confidently progress with our work and make some necessary changes.
We will keep our Barton Road Store for the time being to test out the times when stocks are high and as a fall back area, but from the 1st August, Chettisham will be our address for warehousing.
This move doesn’t affect where we distribute our food from and all Centres openings and locations remain unchanged.
Please do drop in if you have time during normal operational hours, and you are sure to get a cuppa and tour!
Spotlight on: PA Answering Service
Answering calls quickly and efficiently was a gap in our service until a few years ago, when an unexpected meeting with PA Answer at the Cathedral Business Exhibition changed our way of working at the Foodbank. Being the first port of call and redirecting messages to Ashley and Cathy has really helped our organisation run much more smoothly. Each day PA Answer respond to calls from people needing help, wanting to donate goods or offer their time.
We couldn’t do it without you PA Answer! We thank you so much for your generous donation to our work.
Life and work never stay still for very long and at the Foodbank we are bringing in some changes that will hopefully improve our operation and most importantly reach more people within the community.
Since March we have been opening a Pop-up Shop where people can purchase excess stock at very reasonable prices.
Until the autumn this will be a monthly event (see dates below) aiming to move to twice a month providing we have the resource and the manpower!
The queues outside the Countess Church spoke for themselves as word of mouth spread to those who could do with a little extra help.
If you would like to offer some help to either drive the van, unload the stock or serve our shoppers, then please do contact us for more information.
Our next Pop-up Shop dates will be:
12th June, 17th July and 14th August
All at 10–11am at the Countess Church, Chapel Street, Ely.
Currently we are on the lookout for more people who would be willing to drive a van on a rota basis. If you would like to help your community and have a few hours to spare each week, do get in touch. We can provide you with training and familiarise you with the weekly routines of our work. We need people on Tuesdays from 10 am to 1 pm to set up and clear away with help from other volunteers. If you are fit, can lift and are happy to drive a transit style van or can accompany a driver, then please do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01353 468626
Meet the Trustees
The trustees of Ely Foodbank consists of a team of eight people drawn from across the partnership (l to r, top to bottom: Karl, Jenny G, Jenny W, Gordon, Peter, Martin Keith, and Mark). Though the individuals bring different areas of expertise, all of us have a heart for those finding themselves in difficulty, and a desire to bring practical help to those in need. We take social injustices seriously, which resonates with the Christian convictions that we share.
Much of our work is behind the scenes, but includes being pro-active both on potential new initiatives as well as making adjustments to the way the overall Foodbank works, ensuring at all times it is governed well and as transparently as possible. Examples of initiatives we are currently working on include:
With the first trial of the Pop-up Shop underway (see main article), we are now researching how this might be continued sustainably and appropriately under the umbrella of the Foodbank offering.
We are in ongoing discussions with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB), looking at how we ensure provision of advice for clients in centres such as Soham, Chatteris and March.
With the securing of new warehousing facilities (see main article) we need to continue to consider long term warehouse provision to help us cope with the ‘high water mark’ periods of harvest and Christmas donations.
Both these new initiatives and the regular governance activities keep us occupied through the year. Each of our decisions is made with careful consideration and prayerfully – keeping a proverb from the Bible in mind: ‘Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans’ (Proverbs 16:3). We have seen God do this with us over and over throughout the history of the Foodbank operations.
As a team we also want to be open and available to all the volunteers, and so we distribute ourselves across the various centres and teams. You can read more about each individual trustee on our website at: https://ely.foodbank.org.uk/about/meet-the-trustees/
Thanks with our gratitude
We are constantly blessed by all our supporters, donors and volunteers – we couldn’t do it without you. Thank you so much for your continuous support!
It’s just impossible for us to mention everyone in print, but a few shout outs we may have missed in the past certainly due to St Mary’s Church Ely, Select Convenience, Toppings & Co. Book Shop, AMT Soham and St Mary’s Church, Burwell. Thank you – you are marvellous!
Thank you also to Bayfields for their great, dependable service over 6 years. Hiring a van twice a week to move stock to our Distribution Centres has been effortless with Bayfields. Thank you for your excellent service to us.