Barry Everett is a Greenfields resident from Great Yeldham who volunteers as a manager for Halstead Foodbank. Here, he tells us how the role has changed his life, as well as the lives of the people who receive donations and additional support:
“I joined Halstead Foodbank as a volunteer in 2012. Despite the training, nothing could have prepared me for the huge diversity of problems that the clients have. Although I had had my own personal problems previously, it put into perspective the degrees of hardship that some people face on a daily basis, consequently minimising my own problems.
Volunteering at the Foodbank was a saviour for me, in that it put into perspective how many people’s lives are so badly affected by circumstances that they have had no control over, in the majority of cases. As the now manager of Halstead Foodbank, I oversee the running of the centre and its volunteers.
We are a very busy centre, sadly. Not only do we give out food parcels but we engage with the clients in a non-judgemental manner and signpost them to a support organisation, if required. The range of problems that clients are facing is huge and we work very closely with our partners to deliver best practice.
We never forget though that the Foodbank is driven by its donations. We would not be in a position to operate without the very generous donations from members of the public, whether it be via churches, personally, or supermarket collections. So a huge “thank you” to our wonderful donors.
As a statistic, Braintree Area Foodbank, which oversees the 4 distribution centres of Braintree, Witham and Halstead, has fed 2,500 people – of which 650 were children – since April 2017.”
Click on the following link to donate to the Foodbank and find out more: Braintree Foodbank
Last year, Greenfields’ joint fund with Braintree District Council has provided £30,000 over three years to help the Foodbank continue it’s fantastic work for people living in our district. Click on the following link to find out more about the fund: Funding opportunities