Caterham Foodbank reaches its 10th anniversary

Caterham Foodbank was set up at Caterham Baptist Church in late autumn 2013, by Gill Bailey, and her husband Jonathan. Last year, it gave out 4,440 three-day emergency food packs to local people in crisis. 

Gill stepped down from the role of project manager in spring 2023, but Robin Gwynn, who took over the post, says she and Jonathan, who is the Baptist Church minister, still play a valuable role there:

“I can’t thank them enough for the support they give us. Caterham Foodbank began life at the Baptist Church, and it is still the centre of everything we do.”

The foodbank, which is part of the nationwide Trussell Trust network, opens three times a week. On Mondays it can be found at Oakhall Church on Chaldon Road in Caterham, on Wednesdays it visits the Kings Church office in Oxted, and on Thursdays it is at Caterham Baptist Church. All sessions are between 12:00 and 14:00. 

Caterham Foodbank's van
The Caterham Foodbank van

The team works with local agencies across North Tandridge, such as Citizens Advice, as well as health visitors and children’s centres, to help residents, using a voucher referral system. The vouchers are exchanged for three days’ worth of emergency food at one of the foodbank’s locations, where volunteers will speak to the recipients about their needs, including dietary requirements and allergies. Refreshments are offered while the food parcels are put together, and the volunteers are also on hand to chat and offer practical guidance towards further help, if needed.

Reliant on the community to provide donations, the foodbank publishes a list of the five most-needed items every week, which includes tinned and long-life food items and personal hygiene products. As December approaches, it will also welcome seasonal foodstuffs, such as Christmas puddings, to put in hampers that will be given out. Donations can be dropped off at various locations across the district, or via Bankuet, or the spareable app (available at Google Play and the App Store). 

Financial donations, which help the foodbank with its operational costs, can be made through its website, or via Just Giving.

Caterham Foodbank will be holding an event to commemorate the work it has done over the past decade at Caterham Baptist Church on 23 November at 19:00. Open to the public, as well as those who have used the foodbank, and past and present volunteers, there will be refreshments, and a Trussell Trust representative will be giving a talk. More details are on the website. 

If you need help, you can call Caterham Foodbank’s referral partner Citizens Advice, which is able to issue food vouchers, on 01883 348385. Find out more about Caterham Foodbank, including how to become a volunteer, on their website.

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