Staff at Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C) have been generously donating items to several reverse advent calendars – where, each day, they give non-perishable items to be passed on to Norwich and west Norfolk Foodbanks and distributed to those in need across the county.
Organised by Suzie Mallett, a former Community Neurology Specialist Nurse, now a project manager, and her colleague Luke Moore, also a project manager at Norwich Community Hospital, the appeal, has been running over the last month.
“As a nurse I was going into people’s homes and was shocked by how much need there is, even in 2016,” said Suzie. “I visited people who were living with long term neurological conditions like MS and Parkinson’s Disease who were really struggling to make ends meet.
“People couldn’t afford to feed themselves; I visited families where babies needed formula, but there was no money to buy any so they had to rely on their local foodbank.
“Christmas puts extra pressure on people, and I really wanted to help, so that’s why Luke and I set up a reverse advent calendar collection point.”
Shortly after the first one started, various other donation points sprang up at NCH&C sites across the county, including St James’ Clinic in King’s Lynn, Dereham Community Hospital, and the Mulberry Unit in Norwich which comprises of Beech Ward, an inpatient stroke unit and Alder Ward, which supports patients upon hospital discharge before they return home.
Today, Friday 2nd December, Suzie and Luke visited the various collection points and donated the proceeds, a weight of 167kilos, to the Norwich Foodbank, run by the Trussell Trust.
Food banks provide emergency food supplies to vulnerable people who have nowhere else to turn. Last year the Trussell Trust supplied 1,109,309 emergency food supplies to people in crisis, across the UK. Of that number, 415,866 went to children.
“We’re so thrilled at how generous the staff have been,” said Suzie. “It’s good to know we have gone some way to making someone’s Christmas a little better.”
A list of local foodbanks is here: https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank/