Call issued to Sidmouth community as food bank gears up for ambitious relocation

PUBLISHED: 17:27 04 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:26 05 March 2020

Sidmouth Youth Centre Picture: Archant

Sidmouth Youth Centre Picture: Archant

Archant

Sidmouth food bank will be seeking community support as it gets ready to move to a new location.

Andie Milne, coordinator of the Sid Valley Foodbank. Picture: Philippa DaviesAndie Milne, coordinator of the Sid Valley Foodbank. Picture: Philippa Davies

Sidmouth's food bank has set its sights on a new base and easier operation, thanks to an ambitious move.

However, the organisation said it will be relying on the generosity of the public to help streamline the relocation - otherwise it will be forced to fundraise independently to make it happen.

Andie Milne said she has 'great faith' the community will come through as the food bank prepares to move from its current home - the old Unitarian Church in High Street - to a garage next to Sidmouth Youth Centre in Manstone Lane. It has been offered a workshop, currently used for storage by the youth group, from which to run its weekly service.

Andie said: "We have had fantastic support from Fords in Sidmouth, Potburys of Sidmouth and the town council.

"The town council has facilitated the initial move with the youth centre, while Potburys and Fords have initiated the first phase of the move - which is gutting the garage and making it fit for purpose.

"We are all excited for the move, because our current premises are a logistical nightmare."

Currently, the food bank operates from three rooms at the Unitarian Church, meaning members have to continually move provisions around. Andie said: "The church hall is a fantastic community asset, but by having this garage we can access it throughout the week and make the operation a lot smoother, especially at Christmas time and at school holidays."

For the second phase of the project, the organisation needs to kit out the workshop, and is appealing for help from carpenters and others who can help make shelves and work surfaces. It is also looking for donations of good quality kitchen worktops and storage units.

Andie said the food bank will also begin running a community lunch and life skill sessions, helping people write CVs and budget properly. This will be offered to everyone who uses the food bank, and those who are struggling but feel they do not fit the food bank criteria.

Andie said: "This is the whole idea of the move - to bring everything under one roof and offer more support and help prevent people relying on the food bank so much.

"This is about making our new home a multigenerational community asset in the future, and this was the vision shared by myself and the town council while we were discussing options for where the food bank could relocate to."

Anyone who can help should contact Andie on info@sidvalleyfoodbank.org.uk or via Facebook (Sid Valley Food Bank)

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