Woking Foodbank

CHILDREN got into a festive mood while helping raise money for the Woking Foodbank on Sunday afternoon.

They were taking part in a Christmas craft session organised by Trudi Fletcher, who is again rallying the community in support of the charity.

A pair of artists at work on the Christmas house

Trudi staged her workshop at Brookwood Memorial Hall, where youngsters made placemats, used prints of their feet to create reindeer and mistletoe pictures and handprints to create robins.

Trudi’s mini-collection sleigh was there for parents to donate non-perishable items to the food bank, which is building up its supplies to give out to people in crisis for the festive season.

Praise-Joel colouring in sweets on the house

“The craft session went really well and the kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves,” said Trudi, who lives in Connaught Crescent, Brookwood. “The parents have been messaging me to say they had a good time.

“It was good of the memorial hall committee to give me the premises free for the afternoon and people are again being very generous to my appeal.”

“We have got a lot of basics such as pasta and tinned food to give to the food bank but could do with donations of more-expensive items such as Marmite and peanut butter, plus breakfast cereals and fruits drinks,” Trudi added.

She and her helpers will be touring the streets with their sleigh in the lead-up to Christmas. They will also be collecting at the official switch-on of the Brookwood lights at Brookwood Club at 6pm on Saturday next week, 6 December.

To join Trudi’s collection campaign, contact her on trudifletcher@rocketmail.com or call her on 078887 565163.

For the full story and pictures, get the 28 November edition of the News & Mail

WOKING Foodbank has received more donations in the run-up to Christmas than ever in its five-year history and has more than enough to give to needy people in the borough.

AlisonBuckland, the charity’s administrator, said the organisation was “swimming in food” adding”: “We’d like to celebrate the huge amount of donations the generous people of Woking have given – we are delighted.”

Alison said the spike in donations began at Harvest Festival time in the autumn and was boosted by a big campaign at a local supermarket which led to a delivery of 800kg of food, including lots of Christmas fare.

She said more donations were expected from a “foodbank challenge” at a supermarket in Sheerwater, where people were filming themselves dropping off items and then posting it on social media and challenging family members or friends to do the same.

“The amount coming in is causing a bit of a logistical problem. We are almost bursting at the seams but it’s a good problem to have,” Alison said.

She said that the donations meant that everyone who has been coming to the food bank since the beginning of this month has had the opportunity to take a Christmas hamper, which has items such as stuffing, a Christmas pudding, cake, biscuits and chocolates.

Last week,the food bank posted an urgent message on its website saying that its warehouse was full and was closed until the new year.

The message continued: “If you have already arranged a collection with us, please do still bring that in to us.  If you are planning a collection, please don’t forget us but consider delaying until the spring when we are likely to have shortages again. 

“Another alternative would be to donate supermarket gift vouchers, we can then purchase bread and some fresh items as required.”

Alison said that the gift vouchers were used to buy baby milk for a mother who was ill and couldn’t get out to get it herself.

The main foodbank is at The Lighthouse in Woking High Street with branches at the Salvation Army in Sythwood and the Mascot Hub in Sheerwater, open at various times from Mondays to Fridays.

The Food Bank also donates food to various Christmas lunches across the borough.

TheLighthouse food bank will host its own lunch, for about 80 people, preceded by a church service.

“People have been so generous. One person walked in with some food and we said we had enough and they gave us gift vouchers worth £100 instead,” Alison said.