Numbers of local families using Brixham foodbank have reached their highest ever and, as with other foodbanks across the country, this increase in demand has come at a time when donations of food and funds have reduced because of the cost-of-living effects across the whole community. This has meant the Foodbank Trustees have had to draw down some of their small emergency reserve funds to meet demand.
That said, the support from the Brixham Community is as strong as anywhere locally and the Foodbank is grateful to local Churches ,the Brixham Chamber of Commerce ,the Soroptimists, Torbay Council and a wide range of individuals and small organisations for their continuing help.
By way of example, in March this year the Foodbank provided over 420 food hampers to local people .This compares with 180 hampers in March 2021 and 240 in March 2022. As a result of this increase, it has been decided to continue to open three afternoons each week, which started as a trial around Christmas. An increasing percentage of clients are elderly or young working families.
As ever all clients are referred to the Foodbank by Statutory Organisations.
The Foodbank is currently buying around £800 of food each month in addition to the food donations received. Every penny donated is spent buying food for clients. The Foodbank is run entirely by volunteers. .As a Charity the Foodbank can claim an extra 25 pence for every one pound donated by taxpayers.
The Foodbank is open at our Brewery Lane premises every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2pm to 4pm to distribute food and receive donations.
You can also donate online here: https://brixhamchamber.co.uk/brixham-foodbank/
Reverend Elisabeth Lakey representing Brixham Foodbank was one of the guest speakers at Brixham Chamber’s meeting on 19th July. From her talk and Q&A it became apparent that the Foodbank, while providing an excellent and essential service for those in need in Brixham and the surrounding area, could benefit from help itself in some areas of its fundraising and communications.
Phil Gregory, secretary of the Foodbank explained “We have very limited resources which we manage as best we can to ensure those in need don’t go hungry. The chamber kindly offered to help out in some areas where we are lacking expertise, initially with a web page, secure online donation facility and social media support which we gladly accepted. As the squeeze on the ecomomy tightens, demand for our service increases and we are having to spend more money on buying in food. We are hopeful that this additional support will help bridge the gap.”
Can you help?
You can now make a monetary donation online at brixhamfoodbank.org. It’s a secure, quick and easy process for anyone with a debit/credit card and you can ask the government to add an additional 25% to your donation by means of gift aid at no extra cost to you.
Alternatively, the Foodbank are always in need of non-perishable products such as UHT Milk, pasta, tinned meat, fish, sauces, soup and fruit and vegetables plus cereals, toiletries and household essentials. Donations can be left at Tesco, the Coop at the top end of Fore St, the Library, Costcutters at Pillar Avenue and Sainsbury’s on New Road. You can also drop them into the Foodbank when open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 1.30 – 4pm at 14 Brewery Lane next to the bus stop.
Reverend Elisabeth Lakey representing Brixham Food Bank was one of the guest speakers at Brixham Chamber’s meeting on 19th July.
Elisabeth explained that Brixham’s Food Bank is a charitable organisation run entirely by volunteers which provides food parcels for those in need in Brixham. The number of applicants needing help from the service is up by 39% so far this year.
Now with inflation at a 40-year high, the cost of basic goods spiralling and the school holidays approaching the likelihood is that this demand will increase further. Indeed, across the UK Citizens Advice is now referring almost 700 people a day to food banks – up by around 300 as “staggering numbers” turn to this type of service for help.
Elizabeth confirmed “Demand in Brixham is definitely rising at the moment, and we are seeing more families at the food bank as well as individuals.”
The parcels provided by the Food Bank include enough provisions for three days plus essentials such as toilet paper and other hygiene products. If the food bank has no stock of a particular item, they will buy it in from local stores.
Elisabeth continued “We are totally dependent on donations. A huge thank you must go to all the individuals and organisations who have supported us over the years with items or with cash donations or with their time to help and who continue selflessly to do so. We could not provide this service without their generosity.”
Can you help? The Food Bank are always in need of non-perishable products such as UHT Milk, pasta, tinned meat, fish, sauces, soup and fruit and vegetables plus cereals, toiletries and household essentials. Donations can be left at Tesco, the Coop at the top end of Fore St, the Library, Costcutters at Pillar Avenue and Sainsbury’s on New Road. You can also drop them into the Foodbank when open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 1.30 – 4pm at 14 Brewery Lane next to the Strand Bakery.
Brixham’s Santa Run returns on Sunday 5th December 2021 starting at 11am. This is an off road 3k fun run for charity, hosted by Brixham Harriers in conjunction with Brixham Soroptomists on flat level paths. The organisers presented a cheque to Brixham food bank for a massive £2563.98 from the 2019 event.
The event will start and finish under the historical Old Brixham Fish Market on the harbour. Running out past the Golden Hind and around the beautiful old harbour you will soon find yourselves running past the Man and Boy statue and on round towards the marina and lifeboat station before heading up the breakwater. The half way point is about three quarters of the way down the breakwater before returning along the same route to the finish and a well earned medal.
Adult £12 to include Santa costume
Child £8 to include Santa costume
Afterwards a hot drink and mince pies will be provided at a minimal cost and all funds raised on the day will be going towards the Brixham Food Bank.
Toilets and bag drop located at the race HQ located in nearby Brixham Yacht Club.
Any further questions please contact Jane or Lin firstname.lastname@example.org
More details and entry form here
Brixham Stronger Together has been working with the Brixham Chamber of Commerce to look at ways we can support our local businesses to prosper.
We have a lot of small businesses in Brixham who are not likely to have the luxury of an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), these are benefit programs that assists employees with personal problems and/or work-related problems that may impact their job performance, health, mental and emotional wellbeing.
Brixham Stronger Together are working with Brixham Chamber to create our own version of an EAP in the town using the services of our partner organisations to make sure that our businesses remain strong and prosper, but are also supported when times are tough.
We are at the beginning of this process so will share how this looks as it develops.
Supporting the mental health of our community during the crisis has been a major point of concentration for the Brixham Stronger Together partnership.
Stress, depression and anxiety caused by the pandemic has noticeably increased and the group are looking at ways to support the work of Brixham Bee well, one of our members, who are a group of residents, supported by NHS mental health professionals, Brixham councillors and charities who have been working over the last few years to provide a community-led package of support in response to poor mental health in the town.
We are doing this in a number of ways including by making sure the details of BTS members and the services they offer are communicated to and easily available to people in the town, so that they know where they can access support if they need to.
Over the length of the pandemic the two food banks in Brixham, Brixham Food Bank and the Yes! Brixham Food Bank have been supporting vulnerable community members to make sure they have access to food.
Together we have provided well over 2,000 meals to people in Brixham, Churston and Galmpton.
During this time we joined the Torbay Food Alliance, which is a network of food banks across Torbay.
This was a great source of support as it became very difficult to bulk buy and access food as the pandemic progressed.
Through the Food Alliance we were able get hold of the food we needed to keep our food banks stocked.
We would like to just say a massive thanks to all the Torbay Food Alliance members for the peer support and also thanks to Chris Ellis and Becky Morgan for their coordination efforts.
Last week Anthony Magnell, the MP for Totnes constituency, invited Brixham Stronger Together members to join an online Zoom meeting with other community care organisations from across the constituency, including Dartmouth Caring, Totnes Caring and Kingsbridge and Saltstone Caring.
The conversation was based around the health and wellbeing challenges that our communities were facing and what were the messages we needed our MP to take to parliament to advocate for the resources we needed.
Challenges around reducing isolation and making it easier to access the Government-recruited volunteers who came forward during the crisis were all discussed, along with improving links between statutory agencies and the third sector so that the valuable and effective work that the third sector has proven it can deliver during this crisis is integrated into future health and wellbeing plans.
Original Story by Katherine Oliverio of YES! Brixham in Torbay Weekly
Reproduced by kind permission of author/publisher
Brixham Stronger Together is a partnership of local organisations based in Brixham that have come together to support the community. The information in the attached leaflet gives information about each partner, what support they offer and how you can contact them.
Brixham Stronger Together