Wetherby and District (that it the town of Wetherby and the surrounding villages of Boston Spa, Bramham, Collingham, Walton, East Keswick – and as far out as Tadcaster) is a lovely area to live – pleasantly rural with good shopping, excellent local facilities, good schools and some beautiful buildings – all in an area rich in history. Sounds pretty perfect! And very nice it is too, though house prices in what is often referred to by estate agents as ‘the Golden Triangle’ are relatively high.
However, not everyone finds it an easy place to live. For anyone experiencing hardship of any kind, and in need of benefits advice or the services of a job centre a trek to Seacroft, Harrogate or the centre of Leeds is necessary – at a cost of up to £8 return maybe. And how difficult it must be to be ‘hard pressed’ when everyone around you seems to be well heeled, with good jobs, nice cars and money to spend on luxuries.
This is the background to the setting up of the Wetherby and District Foodbank – a recognition that there really is a need in this locality – people here can and do experience low wages, underemployment, sickness, redundancy – and all of the other things that lead people into food hardship.
Our belief that there was a need for a foodbank in this area has been confirmed for us by the take up of its services – as a very new foodbank we have already been able to help more than 36 people – and the numbers will grow as news about the Wetherby and District Foodbank spreads.
The foodbank has received amazing, generous, open hearted support from the local community, from the City Council, the Town Council, from North East Homes, from the Trussell Trust, from the Thorpe Park Estate, local shops and businesses – all wanting to help, wanting to give, wanting to offer support.
We have a wonderful network of volunteers and are developing a good range of voucher givers, so that anyone in need can readily access a voucher that can be exchanged at the foodbank for three days worth of food.
We gather food from food collections, sort and date the food, and store it. Stored food is then taken to our distribution centre where it is given to those in need of it. At the distribution centre our clients are given a warm welcome, a cup of tea/coffee, and opportunity for a chat if they want it, food to take away and access to signposting - information about where they can get more help to resolve their difficulties.
We are very generously supported by local businesses, organisations and our wonderful team of volunteers.