On Friday 20th January Martin Mullin, Head of Sales at Better World Books UK, spent the day volunteering at his local foodbank. Cirencester Foodbank reaches out to people in the community that don’t have enough food. Over 80 stakeholders including doctors, social workers and Church groups hand out vouchers to those that are struggling. The foodbank then provides 3 day emergency food supply packs to individuals and families twice a week. During the calendar year 2016 the foodbank supported 2,712 clients. With 1 in 5 of the UK population living below the poverty line, this foodbank and others like it provide an invaluable service.
Martin joined volunteers Terry and Peter to help weigh 4.5 tonnes of food ahead of moving to a new warehouse in Cirencester. The food supplies had to remain categorised by food type and by date, with more food donations being made by generous individuals as they were sorting. The foodbank had to be fully operational again by Monday morning to avoid disruption to the individuals and families that it supports. Volunteers like Terry and Peter, providing invaluable skills, are key to the foodbank.
Volunteering at Cirencester Foodbank opened Martin’s eyes to a different aspect of the town he lives in. Walking through familiar territory, he was then faced with a different perspective of the needs and challenges facing the community. To visitors, and many residents, Cirencester seems like an affluent, picture postcard town. But there are people in Cirencester in crisis. The foodbank is helping these people by providing nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food.
As a Better World Books employee, Martin receives 2 days paid volunteer time each year. A keen weekend volunteer coaching rugby, cricket and helping out at Church, Martin finds a real benefit in volunteering; both for the organisations he’s supporting and for himself personally.
To find out more about Cirencester Foodbank and how you can get involved visit: https://cirencester.foodbank.org.uk/