As part of the Provincial Food Bank Appeal, the Ormskirk and Bootle Group supported two local foodbanks that are being run close to the group’s two main halls, the Digmoor Community Foodbank in Skelmersdale and the Linacre Mission in Bootle.
The group was able to make substantial donations to both of these foodbanks, with the donations of goods being gratefully received. Both foodbanks greatly appreciated the generosity of the brethren and companions who also made generous monetary donations from lodges, chapters and individuals from within the group, which enabled many further items to be purchased and donated.
The total value of the donations amounted to the magnificent sum of £5,500 and represented 5,488 individual items, which were equally divided between the two foodbanks. The items were delivered by group chairman Graham Chambers and group vice chairman Derek Midgley, who were assisted by a few members of the group, at each foodbank. They delivered the donations with a special appearance by Father Christmas (Don Carton) who assisted at the Digmoor Community Foodbank, to bring a bit of seasonal cheer to the day. This fantastic effort will greatly assist both foodbanks in helping those in need in the local areas.
The Digmoor Community Foodbank is an independent foodbank that covers the whole of West Lancashire, providing food, cleaning products and clothes to disadvantaged families in the community. It was founded by Margaret Highton over 20 years ago and together with a team of volunteers she is still actively involved in running it. As a recognition of her services to the community she was awarded the British Empire Medal after being nominated by the West Lancashire District Council.
It is one of the few foodbanks in the Skelmersdale area and operates from the Evermoor Hub, formerly known as the Digmoor Community Centre. Leading up to Christmas they make up food hampers and Children’s presents to give out to local agencies or families in need. Donations of clothing (new and used) were also appreciated.
Margaret and her staff were amazed at the generosity of the donations made by the members of the Ormskirk and Bootle Group and she expressed her thanks to all concerned for the help it would give. The brethren who delivered the donated items gained a better understanding of the desperate need of some unfortunate members of our community and the excellent assistance the foodbank provides.
The Linacre Mission Foodbank is run as the Linacre Community Foodbank and is open every Friday to offer assistance to those in need and also provides food, cleaning products and essential items to disadvantaged families in the community. Several times during the year the foodbank provides hampers for dis-advantaged families in the area. The local schools provide addresses of those they feel would most benefit from these hampers and make contact with them.
The foodbank is run by Joan Cumming. Joan was previously a waitress and barmaid at the Bootle Group’s old hall before they joined with Ormskirk Group. That hall was in Balliol Road, Bootle during the 1980s and 90s. Unfortunately, Joan was unavailable for the delivery, but two of her regular assistants, Val Gee and Liz Shaw, were able to welcome Graham, Derek and the members who assisted.
The donations received by the Ormskirk and Bootle Group through the Provincial Food Bank Appeal has enabled the Linacre Foodbank to provide for many more families in need and it will make a huge difference to those receiving the hampers and removes the necessity for the foodbank having to decide which families to give their limited supplies to.
Graham Chambers thanks all who contributed to this appeal and the many brethren who have assisted with the collection, purchasing, packing, transporting and delivering the goods to the foodbanks, without whose help this would not have been possible.