The new Chickerell Food Bank opened on 18th November at Mary’s Place – Pantry, St Marys Church in North Square, Chickerell. Since opening the Food Bank has helped over 60 families and the requests for help are increasing.

Each day people in Chickerell go hungry for many reasons which are not their fault, such as changes to benefits, delay in payments, debt problems, divorce, and redundancy. It can take up to 6 weeks to receive Universal Credit following redundancy or change in circumstances. The objective of the Food Bank is to have nutritious food available to anyone living in the Chickerell community who are experiencing an emergency food need.

The Food Bank has been organised by Jacqui supported by a small group of volunteers who offer help to local families each Wednesday, at St Marys Church between 12 and 2.30. All beneficiaries of the Food Bank must register initially and attend the Food Bank by appointment only.

Jacqui organiser of the Food Bank said “Initially we started with the idea of a Baby Bank, which would offer support to new families who required baby food, nappies and clothing, but soon we saw a real need for a local Food Bank in Chickerell. Once a village, Chickerell has grown significantly over the past 5 years with lots of young families residing in the town of Chickerell. The Chickerell Primary Academy has been a huge support to us by acting as a drop-off point for donations but also has helped us to get our message and services out to any families or individuals that need our help. The Food Bank is completely confidential and social distancing and Covid-19 guidelines are observed at all times.” Jacqui went on to say “We are extremely grateful to DJ Property for their generous donation of £500 to the Food Bank. We need to purchase fundamental equipment like a refrigerator to store perishable foods and to buy some special Christmas items for the children, such as crackers, puddings, special biscuits, and cakes and of course, chocolate selection boxes. Christmas 2020 is going to be very hard for some people and we just want to make it all a little bit easier and to create a happier time for local people”.

The Chickerell Food Bank is not just for Christmas and will be continuing its work into the new year. Currently, the team are looking for ground floor storage premises for the Food Bank in the Chickerell area and a place to store the donations. Each week the volunteers meet to collate the food parcels for the people who need them. Deliveries are then made to the families in need by the team of volunteers, to whom we are extremely grateful.  The Food Bank is open to anyone who finds themselves in need for whatever reason, whether  they are working or not including those who might be on a pension.”

Mickey Jones, Chief Executive of DJ Property said “It is very important to me and the DJ Property family that we help local people at all times of the year, but especially at Christmas. As Chickerell continues to grow, more families are moving into the town, many with young children and require a little extra support in these unprecedented times. 2020 has been a year like no other, the Covid19 pandemic has brought unimaginable hardship to some businesses and families. Many people have been surviving on furlough payments, reduced hour contracts and unfortunately, some have lost their jobs quite suddenly. This puts tremendous pressure on families, and we wanted to help the local community in Chickerell. In previous years we have made financial donations to many charities at Christmas time instead of sending Christmas cards to our business network. 

This year is very different, of course, we wish our colleagues, businesses and contacts a very Happy Christmas but we are mindful that this year it will feel very different for all of us.” 

Food Banks rely on the support of the local community and businesses if you would like to donate please get in touch by telephone 07872861523 or email placemarys4@gmail.com  website  www.stmaryschickerell.co.uk/foodbank

Almost 100% of DJ Property’s units on the Granby Industrial Estate, Lynch Lane Industrial Estate and Link Park are currently occupied. Buildings at Link Park and many on Granby Industrial Estate are amongst the highest quality available in South Dorset, often benefitting from reduced cost solar PV generated electricity.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the Granby Industrial Estate, Link Park or commercial property should contact Mickey Jones via the website at www.djproperty.com

PHOTO: CHICKERELL FOOD BANK VOLUNTEERS AT ST MARYS CHURCH, CHICKERELL

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