Suzie Metcalfe, a volunteer for the Ventnor Community Foodbank was pleased to see the report in the IW Observer about the £1,000 donation received from local resident Steve Roth (August 28). Steve made the generous gesture after hearing how the new service had helped somebody he met whilst out dog-walking. Little did she think it would start a chain reaction.
Shortly after the article was published, she received a telephone call from a gentleman who had seen the article and wanted to know where to send a cheque. She was ‘flabbergasted’ when the cheque arrived – it was for another £1,000 along with a note (above) simply saying: ‘Good luck in all you do’. It was quickly followed by a £100 donation from another couple who’d also read the article.
The donations, along with others received will be used wisely and make a big difference to the service the volunteers offer. Suzie said: “We’ve just purchased a freezer so can provide things like bread and garden produce which has been donated – we’ve not been able to do that before and it is so much better than just giving out tinned food. We are also looking at setting up a delivery service as people finding it hard to buy food can’t afford bus fares. People don’t realise how much good small charities can do with donations that would just get swallowed up in larger organisations.
“Ventnor is a very close-knit community, sometimes a bit quirky, with lots of people living a slightly alternative lifestyle. It’s very neighbourly and people who are doing OK just want to help those finding it tough during these difficult times.
“The foodbank is not just about giving people food, we try to help clients if they’ve got themselves into a bit of a pickle. We signpost them to other agencies and help them to help themselves sort out any problems. We’re there to listen and some of the stories we’ve heard have been so sad. It brings home that anybody can find themselves needing a helping hand – and that is what we are here for.
““The support we’ve had from the community has been overwhelming and restores your faith in human nature. We’re expecting a lot more people will need our help when furlough stops at the end of October, so every single donation is appreciated. I really want to say a big thank you to everybody who has supported us, and to the IW Observer for helping to get our message out.”
The Ventnor Community Foodbank is open in the Pier Street Baptist Church on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 10am to midday. They are open to anybody in the PO38 postcode area on a self-referral basis, no vouchers are necessary. There are five donation points in the town, Tesco’s Boots, St Catherine’s Church, Wendy’s and the Carnaby Tea Rooms.
Contact Suzie by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07879270929 for more information.