March 2015 Newsletter

Since our last newsletter, there have been all sorts going on at The BAY Foodbank. Sadly, we had another very busy Christmas period which saw us provide food for 564 individuals in December and a further 500 in January. Many clients we chatted to spoke of the stress that Christmas often causes them as there is so much that they can’t afford – including presents for their children. Therefore, we’d like to say a huge thank you to our supporters who, with Asda’s help, donated brand new toys for us to give out alongside food parcels to help brighten up a lot of children’s Christmas mornings! We were overwhelmed by the amount of donations we received over Christmas. It was absolutely fantastic to see so many people wanting to help out and do their bit – at one point we were emptying supermarket donation bins twice a day!

Whitley Bay Town Cup Winners!
The BAY Foodbank is proud to announce that we have been awarded the Whitley Bay Town Cup for our work with the needy and vulnerable in the local community. Rev. Alan Dickinson, the Chairman, was accompanied by the rest of the charity trustees, employees and a handful of volunteers to the North Tyneside Council Chambers on Thursday 22nd January 2015 to receive the award. The authority awards the cup to an organisation or individual of the town who has brought about an outstanding event in the last year, or has been of outstanding service to the community. Councillor Tommy Mulvenna, Chairman of Council, said “This cup is a fantastic way to show our appreciation and recognising the excellent work that these organisations do. The BAY Foodbank provides a very important service to the residents of not only Whitley Bay, but the whole of North Tyneside and they thoroughly deserve this honour.” We’d like to thank all of our loyal supporters and volunteers for their continued dedication to the charity as without their donations of time, food and money we wouldn’t be able to continue the work we do.

Christmas Fundraisers!
There were a great deal of Christmas fundraisers held towards the end of the 2014 by a whole host of different companies and organisations! We’d love to be able to thank you all personally, but there were just so many of you! We’d especially like to thank the team at Adult Social Care, of North Tyneside Council, for the money raised and food donated as a result of their Christmas jumper dress down day. The team managed to raise a whopping £518.16 alongside the 529 items of food that they collected! We were overwhelmed with donations this Christmas by so many supporters that is impossible to thank you all, sorry! We hope you’ll stick with us for 2015.

Donation from Santander Foundation!
We have been lucky enough to have been given £5000 to help fund our ever increasing running costs! The donation was provided by the Santander Foundation which offers grants to UK registered charities for projects that help disadvantaged people in local communities. Representatives from the North Shields and Whitley Bay branches stopped by at the foodbank to present us with the cheque. The grant will be used to fund a number of aspects of the charity, including; general overheads, fuel costs for the delivery van, and part-time administration support to help run the charity as efficiently as possible. Rev. Alan Dickinson, Chairman at The BAY Foodbank, said: “We’d like to express our sincere thanks for this very generous donation and for all the support Santander have given us during the past few months. It will help make a big difference to our work. We’d also like to give a special thanks to Angels of the North for the free warehouse space that they provide us with”. Thank you Santander!

Police Commissioner Visit
Police & Crime Commissioner Vera Baird QC also stopped by to pay us a visit in the run up to Christmas. She brought along food donations from herself and her staff, along with a generous cheque for £250! We gave her a quick tour around the warehouse had a brief Q&A session with regards to how we operate and how many people we serve. It was great to have her and her staff here and we look forward to perhaps meeting them again.

Cereal Galore!
As part of Kellogg’s School Breakfast initiative we were given over 2300 boxes of free cereal with the instruction to hand it out to schools and youth clubs in the local area that offer free breakfast for kids. We were able to supply this cereal to around 35 organisations and breakfast clubs in North Tyneside which will hopefully help get the children ready to learn at school! We’d like to thank Kellogg’s on behalf of everyone who benefited from this very generous, and much needed, donation.

St. Peter’s Pantomime Society
In January, St. Peter’s Pantomime Society performed a brilliant version of The Wizard of Oz – including a free night where cash-strapped families could experience a traditional Christmas pantomime. The Society split the proceeds with us and themselves! We’d like to commend them for their hard work and generosity! What a great way to start the year! Due to the huge response to our Christmas treats campaign we were also able to supply selection boxes to the children who attended the free performance! Thank you!

Special Thanks
We’d like to thank a number of different charities, organisations and individuals, including; Angels of the North for their continued support and for allowing us to use their warehouse on the Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate, North Tyneside Council for their good working relationship with us, and of course all of our vital supporters and volunteers who help keep The BAY Foodbank running!

To mark the 3rd anniversary of The BAY Foodbank, there will be a social event on Saturday 7th March 2015 at 7pm at The BAY Church in Whitley Bay! This is our way of saying thank you all of our supporters and volunteers who have given generously in time, money and food since 2012! Everyone is welcome! Come along, say hello and have a bite to eat!