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Stroud District Basics Bank Newsletter
Harvest 2015

Hello Everyone

I wanted to send an email about harvest this coming year. We are always really grateful for our churches and groups who support us at Harvest and this year we would be delighted to accept any donations that you might gather for us. However, we also know that there are lots of different causes that many of you might also be supporting. As such, without wanting to put any pressure on, but equally knowing that some of you might want to know the items we need for various harvest events, I am writing this email.  

We would be delighted to accept donations of any tinned food or long life items. We are particularly interested in Coffee, Sugar, UHT Fruit Juice and Meat. However, anything accept beans (!) would be greatfully accepted. We are more than happy to come and collect food once you have collected it but ideally this would be by prior arrangement so please email me or call 01453 367077 if you would like to arrange something.

We are always keen to come and speak at churches and groups on a Sunday, mid week or any special events so please let me know and I can either come in person or find someone else from the trustees to speak. I speak at lots of churches and meetings and spreading the word is one my favourite parts of my role at Foodbank, Kids' Stuff and Furniture Bank.

We have a large quantity of literature and leaflets that we are more than happy to provide if you would like it. This includes shopping lists, info on the projects and other bits. Please just let me know if you would like something and I can post items to you.

If there is ever anything we can do to help you guys in any way please let me know.

Grace and Peace,

Sainsbury's Stroud raises £1386 for Stroud District Food Bank
Many thanks go to Sainsbury's Stroud and their customers, who, after nominating us last year have been a great help with their fundraising and donations. Here is an article from one of their summer press releases:

"Sainsbury’s Stroud has raised £1386 for Stroud District Food Bank, as part of the Local Charity of the Year scheme.
The charity is a vital go to for families around the Stroud area. The group was chosen by customers and colleagues last June and has received support from the store for the past year.
Activities have included a book sale, food collections, Easter egg donations, and a fancy dress day. The store also has a collections basket at the front of the store for customers to donate items needed.
Matt Hourihan, Store Manager of Sainsbury’s Stroud, said:
 “We’ve had an excellent year supporting Stroud Food Bank, our customers and colleagues have got involved with a number of fundraising activities. We’d like to thank everyone at the Stroud District Food Bank for making it such a brilliant partnership.”
 Will Mansell, Project Manager, added:
We’d like to thank the customers and colleagues at Sainsbury’s in Stroud for their support over the past year. It has made such a difference to the foodbank and we’re extremely grateful for the donations and awareness we’ve been able to raise.”
“We are really lucky to get lots of support from local businesses and supermarkets. However, this work from Sainsbury’s really has gone above and beyond. They helped us with Easter Eggs, provided toiletries throughout the year and raised this money.”
The money will be used to help pay for the delivery costs that the Foodbank faces when trying to get food into the rural areas of the District. This helps the most isolated get the food they need as they need it." "

In other news, the last month at the Food Bank has been fairly stable in terms of donations and referrals, which has helped with reviewing the storage system and adapting after the move. However, we expect the situation to become increasingly hectic in the weeks following Harvest.
Musical chairs in the Furniture Bank
(and sofas, beds and more)

It’s been another busy month for us at the Furniture Bank, not only have we moved around the warehouse, but we have been setting up some exciting partnerships with different organisations in the District.

Due to the continued success of the launch of the Furniture Bank we we have had a move around, Kids’ Stuff have moved to a new fully enclosed space upstairs and Furniture Bank have moved into the Kids’ Stuff area. This will enable us to process donations in a more efficient manner and deliver them in quicker to our families in need.

We have also recently set up an exciting initiative with the Credit Union. They will now be offering a special loan to Furniture Bank customers. This will enable our customers who do not have the administration charge straight away to get the furniture within a week of applying for the loan. With this loan there will be no interest (Furniture Bank will pay the interest) for the customer and it is available for as little as one item at £30. With this new initiative our fundamental  aims are to enable our families to get the furniture they need straight away and to move them away from borrowing from door stop lenders and BrightHouse. We are very excited about this launch and really do anticipate that it will help some of our most needy customers.

Our referrals are steadily increasing and with the new school term we anticipate that our number of referrals will continue to increase. We are getting a good selection of the furniture items we need, however we are currently short on single beds, especially bunk beds. If anyone does have any which they no longer need do let us know!’

Jo Mansell

Kids' Stuff Spreads its wings

June, left, and Sar, right, vounteers striking a dramatic pose while sorting donations in Kids' Stuff's new upstairs perch

The past few weeks have been a busy time for Stroud District Kids' Stuff. We are transferring from our old area downstairs to the larger space upstairs in the warehouse, making room for the furniture bank and accommodating for our increasing amount of donations.

June, who has volunteered with Kids' Stuff since its early days, is among those helping out with the move. When not moving small organisations, she takes the special role of selecting and washing donated bedding.

This isn't the first Kids' Stuff move she has been involved in. She has volunteered at all locations Kids' Stuff has been based at. The first of these was Naomi Williams' garage, in 2012. At this point, the organisation only sent clothes in their referrals, and only had about two free-standing shelves worth of donations. Naomi, Jenny her mother, Vicky, and June were the only regular members at that point. In the winter, due to cold conditions the organisation moved to inside Naomi's house, only using the garage for storage. However, as the organisation gained more recognition and grew, Kids' Stuff moved, in the summer of 2013, to the warehouse on Bath Road in South Woodchester. This was the first location which it shared with the Food Bank. This link brought a lot more attention to the younger organisation, as it was easy for Foodbank referrers to also get in touch with Kids' Stuff. Several more volunteers joined at this point, including Barbara, Helen and Sar. As a result, Kids' Stuff was able to branch out and started accepting buggies, toiletries, shoes and more. Over time, the referrals increased, up to 1 per day at the start of summer 2015.

Another organisation was joining Stroud District Basics Bank, the Furniture Bank. To accomodate it, soon after in the summer of 2015 there was another up-sticks to the current location, a warehouse in Brimscombe. Kids Stuff continued to store a wider variety of donations, like books, toys, and children's beds. 

Harvest wish list- what do we need?

As the range of services we provide expands, so does the range of items we need. The different organisations are looking for varying sorts of items. Can you help by sourcing any of the following?

Sugar, 500g and 1kg bags
Small coffee
Steamed puddings
Tinned fruit
Tinned tomatoes
UHT milk
UHT fruit juice

Kids' Stuff:
New-born nappies
Shower gel
Baby toiletries
Nappy sacks
Double buggies
Children's single bedding

Furniture Bank: (all soft furnishings must have fire labels)
Chests of drawers
Any beds/matresses
Tables and chairs

Copyright © 2015 Stroud District Foodbank, All rights reserved.

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