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On the Ball to help Swindon FoodBank

On the ball to help Swindon Foodbank

The great and the good of Swindon - oh, and me - were out in force recently for the annual ball in aid of that fantastic charity Swindon Foodbank. As we enjoyed an excellent meal at The Hilton, we were entertained by a magician, a swing band and competed to buy some brilliant lots in the silent auction - hampers, jewellery, Swindon Town tickets and lots more. More than 100 people went and we know we've raised at least £3,400 and every penny helps as we have to raise at least £45,000 a year to keep going. Read more about the Ball's success here.

Want to see some pictures..? Check the slideshow out half way down this page

While we were enjoying ourselves at the ball it was hard to remember that there were hundreds of people in our town that very night who were on the edge of poverty, many at crisis point financially and 300 or more of them would be referred to Foodbank within a few days... We heard from the Mayor (Rex Barnett) - Richard Belsham, Foodbank Project Manager and Alex Pollock who is due to open a ReStore Project in Swindon; a community social enterprise offering a supported volunteer programmes designed to engage and value people of all abilities. Read more about the ReStore concept here.

Whether it's by attending the ball, or donating a few tins of food, people all over Swindon are prepared to help this great cause. Swindon as a community pooling what they have to share with others who at that moment in time "do not have.."  In fact, some 28 tonnes of food were donated the last year by individuals who added one extra item to their own weekly shop. Which is as well, because the charity has seen a huge increase in demand over this winter, one of the coldest we've ever seen, with eight per cent more local residents being referred by the "professionals" for emergency food parcels.

As a former director of Swindon Foodbank, I'd like to thank everybody who did their bit - whether through buying a ticket to the ball, donating food, volunteering, or helping in some other way. I am very proud to be associated with this charity and very proud of the people of Swindon who give their support to those who are in crisis locally. We're in the middle of a recession and there's no getting away from the fact that demands on Swindon Foodbank, and the other 80 Foodbanks in the UK,  are likely to rise rather
than fall, in the short-term. So please carry on helping, Swindonians, those who are struggling are relying on you.

The next food collection will be on March 26 at Tesco Extra, in Ocotal Way. If you'd like any more details about how to help foodbank visit

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