Photo: Rotarians Marten Koopmans, David Mason, Stephen Hey, Peter Mate (back row) – Jane Wearing, Sandra Dexter (front row)
Rotary come to the aid of the Ilkley food bank
A new 'one-stop shop' for the Ilkley Food Bank is based in a room at All Saints' Church and members of the Rotary Club of Ilkley Wharfedale gave up their time to build the new shelving.
Ilkley Food Bank was first set up on 7th May, 2013 under the auspices of CTI (Churches Together, Ilkley) and is run by a committed volunteer team headed by Jane Wearing and Sandra Dexter. Beneficiaries are referred through recognised agencies such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, GP practices and other healthcare professionals, Job Centres and churches. Currently the client list consists of seven families and seventeen single people all of whom are on a very low income for a number of reasons, such as job loss, losing benefits, needing help following the introduction of Universal Credit or having just had a series of very unlucky circumstances
Storage of food donations is currently based at Booths supermarket in Ilkley, from where food parcels are put together and delivered out to clients. There are five collection points for donations (at Booths, Tesco, Co-Op Bolton Bridge Road, Springs Lane Medical Centre & All Saints church and the Food Bank currently has thirty-two volunteers who give of their time and energy on a voluntary, unpaid basis.
The Food Bank receives no specific regular funding although donations have been received in the past from Burley Festival and Menston Methodist Church which have been put to good use buying carrier bags and food when there are shortages.
Any excess of food and other items (e.g. nappies) are sent to St George’s Crypt, Leeds, Keighley Women’s Refuge and various Bradford refugee agencies.
It was recently decided that the Food Bank would benefit from moving to one dedicated premises where food could be stored and distributed – essentially a ‘one-stop shop’. All Saints Parish Church have kindly offered one of their rooms for this purpose and Ilkley Town Council have donated £800 towards racking/shelving for the new premises.
Members of the Rotary Club of Ilkley Wharfedale gave of their time to erect the racking, ably guided by Jane and Sandra.
Jane Wearing said – “Sandra and I would like to thank everyone that is helping us in this new phase in the life of the Food Bank – all our regular volunteers; Ilkley Town Council for their very generous donation; Booths who have supported us for many years with food storage; the Rotarians, particularly Councillor Peter Mate, who has shown us some fantastic support in getting the new shelving in place; and of course all the generous people of Ilkley who donate food week in, week out. The “One-Stop Shop” is one step closer to becoming a reality and we are very excited for the future!”