Lifeboat crew’s Christmas gift to foodbank

MEMBERS of Lyme Regis lifeboat crew donate a Christmas hamper to Lyme Regis Foodbank, gratefully received by Chris Tipping, manager of LymeForward, and foodbank volunteers

LYME Regis lifeboat crew got into the festive spirit last week, offering a Christmas gift to the local foodbank.

The lifeboat crew received an anonymous donation of a hamper full of Christmas treats, but rather than splitting it amongst themselves, they agreed to donate it to those more in need.

Members of the crew visited Lyme Regis Foodbank volunteers at The Hub on Wednesday morning, where they handed over the hamper, which will help to support those struggling over the festive period.

Volunteer lifeboat operations manager Nick Marks said: “Lyme Regis lifeboat is very fortunate in having generous supporters who help us in so many ways and for whom we are very grateful.

“Recently a couple who wish to remain anonymous handed in a hamper of festive food at the RNLI shop. Our crew appreciates the gesture but recognises there are those in the town who could also benefit from these items and may not enjoy the level of support that we do.

“We therefore decided to donate the hamper to Lyme Regis Foodbank, and we thought it appropriate that one deserving charity, such as ours, should support another very worthwhile enterprise particularly at Christmas.”

Busy year for foodbank

It has unfortunately been another busy year for Lyme Regis Foodbank and, despite some quieter periods over summer, the amount of food the service has distributed has gone up by about 25 per cent compared to 2018.

The foodbank is run by LymeForward and operates from The Hub in Church Street on Wednesdays. It measures how much food is distributed by the number of person/weeks (so one person/week is one week’s worth of food for one person).

To date this year, the foodbank has distributed 445 person/weeks’ worth of food, which was described as “a huge amount”.

Chris Tipping of LymeForward commented: “The saddest aspect of this is that the people we see are just like me and you, but happen to have had some misfortune in their lives, whether it has been losing a job or suffering from a health condition.

“This could happen to anyone, and indeed we know people in our area who are too ashamed to visit because of the social stigma they perceive.

“Although we try to make the foodbank a welcoming place, it can be a stressful experience visiting for the first time. We have had a number of clients waiting outside trying to build up the courage to come in, and often when they do pluck up the courage to come in, they are quite tearful.

“Our amazing volunteers do their utmost to make the experience as normal as possible. Nobody at the foodbank ever judges a person by their situation; we offer a warm drink, often accompanied by a bacon sandwich, and make you feel part of the family.

“The foodbank is not going to be the panacea for all life’s problems, but hopefully we can help someone through a difficult situation in their lives as painlessly as possible.

“To end on a happier note, it is worth remembering the kindness and generosity of the residents of our area. Without the constant food and financial donations from everyone, we would not be able to run this facility for our town, and I would like to thank you all for everything you do, no matter how large or small, and I know I can count on your support throughout 2020.”

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