Barnet Post

Barnet Post

How I established a Food Bank in Childs Hill

Pauline Drayson welcomes everyone to All Saints Church Food Bank

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By Pauline Drayson 15 October 2021

Having lived in Childs Hill for forty years I know it pretty well but just before the pandemic began I met many adults and their children who told me they did not have enough money to buy food regularly. Worried, I decided to try and establish a Food Bank.

It was difficult to find a venue but the Vicar of All Saints Church, Robin Sims-Williams, was happy to house one. After finding like-minded individuals we formed a group of Trustees and we then created posters to publicise the Food Bank and its opening date. Some of us also visited a long-established Barnet Food Bank to learn how things worked there.

All Saints Food Bank was formed on 12th September 2020 as a Charity with five Trustees: me a teacher, Councillor Anne Clarke, Andrew Potter of the Boost Service and Sarah Hoyle, who is an experienced community worker, not forgetting the Vicar who has much community expertise. We also managed to find many willing volunteers who know of the local area. They are all extremely enthusiastic and hard-working.

We have been incredibly careful regarding behaviour and safety methods during the pandemic and have attained the Certificate for Environmental Food Hygiene to ensure a high standard with the fresh foods donated.

Both food and money donations come from local people, supermarkets and various diverse organisations. We are also most thankful to Barnet Food Hub for their weekly contributions and support.

We are open every Saturday from 10 to 12 at the Church, which is just off Cricklewood Lane, providing help for around 40 or more families each week aided by three or four volunteers. We have also included educational and fiction books mainly for primary school children. Anyone is able to come along with minimum formalities and everyone is given a friendly welcome.