Honour for Chippenham food bank and hostel volunteers
8:00pm Saturday 5th October 2013 in Latest News
CHIPPENHAM’S Food Bank and homeless hostel Unity House were this week awarded for improving the quality of Wiltshire lives.
The fourth Wiltshire Voluntary and Community Awards ceremony, organised by Wiltshire Council and sponsored by NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group and the Community Foundation for Wiltshire and Swindon, was held in Devizes on Tuesday.
The council received more than 70 nominations for the awards, which celebrate the achievements and hard work of the county’s volunteers and community groups.
Almost 50 people had to rely on the town’s food bank in August. It provides three days of supplies to people in crisis, who are referred by agencies such as social services, Citizens’ Advice Bureau, probation service and children’s centres.
It is run by volunteers at the Salvation Army who help with stock control, making food parcels and distributing them to those in crisis.
They also advise people where to get help on sensitive matters like money.
Twenty children were among the 49 people who would have gone hungry without the food bank, compared with 28 six months earlier. The Salvation Army said the main cause of need was benefit delay, and August saw five more families in need than the month before.
Corps assistant Margaret Boyd said: “We were thrilled to receive the award on behalf of all our volunteers. We were so pleased it gave them recognition on a county level. We’d also like to thank all the schools and churches that are donating harvest produce.”
They won their award jointly with Unity House, a supported housing project in Wood Lane managed by Bournemouth Churches Housing Association, which provides accommodation to 22 homeless people each night. They receive a tailored support plan and have access to work clubs, volunteering opportunities, work experience in catering and an allotment to build horticultural skills.
Project manager Ben Anderson said: “It was a real celebration.”
Other winners included: Salisbury and Chippenham Street Pastors for Creative Partnership in Communities; Avagio IT in Chippenham for Employer Demonstrating Support for Communities; Miriam Nicholls of Malmesbury named Volunteer of the year; Louise Radford of Royal Wootton Bassett District Rangers, Young Volunteer of the year; and Peter Baxter, chairman of Wiltshire Compact, for Community Leadership.
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