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Thank You from our CEO

20 December 2019

I am writing to say THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to our Food Bank Christmas appeal – I can’t tell you how much we appreciate your generosity. It will help us to make a real difference to local people who are struggling this Christmas - and beyond. (If you are a UK tax payer you could increase the value of your donation by 25% just by completing a Gift Aid declaration - https://sdcvs.org.uk/services/south-derbyshire-cvs-food-bank)

Sadly the Food Bank has never been needed more.  This year we have already given out 1,125 emergency parcels to individuals and families in need (an increase of nearly 10% on 2018) and there will be more in the next few days as we run up to Christmas. Some of the stories we hear, from people who, through no fault of their own, have hit difficult times, are just heartbreaking.  But on a more positive note, many local people like yourself have shown great generosity and made it possible for us to help them out.  We’ve never asked for cash donations before so this is new territory for us – and the response has been great.

As well as providing food we also try to provide a non-judgemental listening ear, empathy, practical support and to put people in touch with other services that can help them rebuild their lives.  A letter we received last month, from someone who was supported by the Food Bank, is included at the end of this message.

Once again many thanks for your support.  A very Happy Christmas to you and your loved ones.

Best wishes

Kerrie

Kerrie Fletcher

CEO

South Derbyshire CVS

 

Letter from a Food Bank recipient

When life is giving you a thrashing, and all you want to do is curl up in a ball and give up......

I hoped the day wouldn’t come where I had run out of resources or corners to turn. Trying to keep our heads above water, trying not to sink. I had robbed Peter to pay Paul & felt I had done all to stand. Over 2 years in the struggle, real life everyday relentless struggles, born from having a career change for various reasons.  The reality: I found myself often without food. Juggling a measly budget & buying the cheapest of everything if anything. The household bills swallowed almost everything I earned.

One morning I woke up & thought, what now? All options exhausted. My children not understanding why the cupboards were bare or why little things like school photos were never purchased. Forget new toys or clothes, pocket money, internet, or even biscuits.

With prideful determination yet beaten to despair I took myself to the CVS. My intentions were just to quietly get some food to feed myself & the children. To deal with our basic needs then I’d try and sort something else out. Please, don’t let anyone I know see me!...

With much hesitation I walked into the building, words could barely leave my mouth through shame. I asked if I could get a food parcel.

The lady at the desk was so gracious & came around from the counter to sit & chat with me. I was so embarrassed & broken, I couldn’t stop from sobbing intermittently.

Thankfully I received the parcel I so needed - only to see myself return again a month later.

There I was standing in reception again, more broken at having had to return & just as ashamed. A lady looked at me and enquired why I was there (again). She asked whether I’d like a coffee & a chat. Reluctantly I agreed. (I hadn’t had a coffee in days!).

I learned her name to be Petra. She delved into my life with the sensitivity & open support that I never expected.

Of course I broke down!

She offered me support that equalled much more than just food, she offered positivity, realistic solutions & hope.

Through the solutions and contacts, not to mention the encouraging spirit of Petra and others she put me in contact with, (‘the dream team’) my life took a dramatic turn.

Since our 1st meeting, I’ve moved to affordable housing, and am receiving advice and support regarding my bills & debts. I am also supported with my mental health and have a new lease of hope in my life. I am currently working and learning to managing life!

I cannot imagine what would have become of my children & I if I hadn’t stepped into the CVS that day. When I was at my most vulnerable, the CVS was there to catch my family & I.

To Petra & the team I am most sincerely & truly thankful!

The CVS: Priceless!!!

From a very grateful person

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