WOKING Foodbank enjoyed a stroke of luck this week as young Pyrford swimmer Isobel Berry took to the pool to raise funds for the vital service.
The emergency food distributor benefitted to the tune of £880 thanks to nine-year-old Isobel’s noble dash for cash – although, in truth, it was more of a marathon than a sprint for the Pyrford Primary School student who clocked up 100 lengths (2,500 metres) of the David Lloyd pool at Brooklands.
As a registered charity, Woking Foodbank needs all the help it can get to stay afloat, so staff were delighted when Isobel visited their premises at the town centre’s Lighthouse charity hub to present two bumper cheques. Half of the grand total was raised thanks to sponsorship from fellow Pyrford pupils, friends and family.
Isobel’s father Daniel, who did the swim alongside Isobel, also arranged for his employer, Addlestone-based firm CHEP Global, to match her magnificent fundraising effort with a second charitable cheque.
Alison Buckland, Administrator at the Woking Foodbank, said: “We are thrilled to receive Isobel’s support. She told us the swim itself was very tough but she enjoyed doing it. Many thanks also to her dad who kindly matched Isobel’s cheque.”
Ian Johnson, Secretary of Woking Foodbank, added: “It reflects brilliantly on Isobel and her school friends that they appreciate people sometimes need emergency help to put food on the table, even in our area.”
Meanwhile, Isobel’s proud dad Daniel added that £440 had also been raised to go towards new equipment at Pyrford Primary, which is currently undoing an expansion project: “From taking an interest in supporting her school and a great local charity too, Izzy has put this into action.
“She has trained really hard for over three months and was determined to push herself and raise as much money as she could for two very worthwhile causes.
“I’d like to thank all those people who supported us: family, friends, fellow parents and my work colleagues.
“Seeing the great work at the Foodbank, and particularly the work of the volunteers there, helped us forget how painful the swim was!”
But the final word must go to the girl of the moment, Isobel, who said that the pain was definitely worth the gain: “The swim was much harder than I thought it would be and I was glad when it was over, but it was definitely worth doing.
“I aimed to raise £250 but people just kept on donating money and that really hel-ped to keep me going. A big thank you to everyone who supported me.”
To find out more about Woking Foodbank, including details of how to donate, visit woking.foodbank.org.uk.