Lockdown and working from home with two small children in the house is a nightmare, but I am one of the lucky ones, I still have a job.
I was sat at home last Friday (3 April 2020) and thinking how can I help, then a few community grant funds popped in my inbox, so I started to forward the links to local groups and then I got chatting to Sarah Markillie. Sarah is one of life’s unsung heroes in my view and does so much for our community alongside a small team of others, anyway – what’s the story?
The story is simple, Sarah explained how the foodbank at St Cross in Middleton (part of Leeds South & East Foodbank) was under immense pressure, now feeding more people than ever! Other foodbanks locally have had to close as many of their volunteers are elderly or have underlying illnesses have to self-isolate to protect themselves or family members.
I asked, “Any specific supplies needed?” It was a simple response from Sarah, “We are struggling for everything to be honest, we even had to go shopping ourselves for supplies”. “Leave it with me” I replied.
So, I set on to spreading the word, using my Facebook page @waynedixonmiddleton as a platform to do so, posting an URGENT APPEAL for more supplies (see pic).
The response was amazing and I decided to offer pick-ups, so on Saturday I spent my time driving round Middleton and even one or two trips to Beeston and Belle Isle to collect supplies, food, toiletries and even some fresh food were given and I was amazed how generous people were.
One person said to me, “I am lucky, I still have a job and I’d like to think others would support me if I was in need.”
Some people who donated had previously been supported by the foodbank and they felt it was time to give back, I had people from lots of different backgrounds donating and it was great to see the community coming together in the time of need.
I was very careful on collection, people left the items in their gardens and we kept a strict 2m apart to ensure all our safety from this virus. When I got home, I sorted the items out ready for the food-bank on my lawn with some odd looks from the neighbours who also ended up donating, see the video I made to thank everyone – again, thanks to you all who donated. Over the weekend more food kept appearing and even after I delivered it to St. Cross Church on Monday, more kept coming meaning a couple of trips to the vicarage.
If you can donate regularly to the St Cross foodbank, please drop items in to the vicarage, leaving items in the doorway (ideally long life goods due to storage). The foodbank is also running a gofundme fundraiser page to help buy items they are short of, donations can be made here.
At times of need our community needs really comes together and it never fails to amaze me the lengths people take to help others and it makes me proud to be from South Leeds, I love it.
Thank you again to everyone who has helped and donated.
This post was written by Wayne Dixon
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