David Brayshaw column

Chairman  of Morecambe Carnival  organising committee David Brayshaw.
Chairman of Morecambe Carnival organising committee David Brayshaw.

I was at The Bay Radio’s HQ last week; this time to take part in the launch of their Charity Stars appeal and to help record a version of that S Club 7 classic ‘Reach’.

y singing and dancing weren’t a pretty sight (as you’ll see if you check out the official video) but it was all in a great cause.

Speaking of which, whilst I was there I met up with Annette Smith from Morecambe Bay Foodbank. I first met Annette when she won the Unsung Hero award at The Visitor’s Sunshine Awards earlier this year and again on carnival day when she and the Foodbank team entered the Carnival Parade.

We had a quick catch up at The Bay and Annette invited me to visit the foodbank and have a chat about MC15.

For those that don’t know where the Foodbank is (and admittedly, I didn’t) it’s in the Green Street Methodist Church and is open every Tuesday and Friday. The church does still open on a Sunday afternoon for worship and for other activities during the week, but the Foodbank seems to have taken over a good third of the church. Even though the people working there are all volunteers, but they work together like a well-oiled machine.

The role of the foodbank is to provide short term relief for people in crisis. This is the first thing that surprises me; I had thought that it provided longer term help for people. So as Annette is telling me how they distributed 31 tonnes of food last year, just to people in my local area, I’m trying to work out how many people they have helped: thousands.

I am still struggling to come to terms with the fact that in the town where I live, there are so many people who would go hungry if it weren’t for the foodbank. And contrary to popular belief, less than 1 per cent of those helped were homeless people, its ordinary people (often families) who find themselves in difficulty and literally cannot afford to eat.

By the way, the 31 tonnes of food that I mentioned earlier is all donated by local people. So next time you see a Foodbank collection point in a supermarket, please donate an extra tin, or whatever you can and be sure that you are making a difference to people in crisis in your local area.

Annette tells me that one local business contacts her every month to find out if they are running short of anything and then makes an online order with Asda, for delivery. This is a great idea and I plan to also do this. If any other businesses would like to get involved in a similar way, please get in touch with me.

The last surprise of the afternoon is when I bump into Amina Lone, the Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate; a regular volunteer here for over a year. I don’t know how she finds the time, but I am pleased she does.