Search

Harold Hill woman Angela Scott on overcoming adversity and forming food charity PicnicBasketMe

18:10 10 April 2013

Angela Scott and daughter Monita Page load a hamper into the car, ready for delivery

Angela Scott and daughter Monita Page load a hamper into the car, ready for delivery

Archant

Overcoming the death of a daughter, bringing up five children single-handedly and losing your home – there aren’t many who could go through five years like that and come out fighting.

Angela Scott and daughter Monita Page prepare a hamper (photo: Steve Poston)Angela Scott and daughter Monita Page prepare a hamper (photo: Steve Poston)

But big-hearted Angela Scott, 48, is proving that life goes on – and now the care worker wants to help others who are facing the problems she did a decade ago.

That’s why she’s founded PicnicBasketMe.

The charity, run from Angela’s home in Waverley Crescent, Harold Hill, provides struggling families with two weeks’ worth of food when times are hard.

A basket costs £15 – something that sets Picnic Basket Me apart from Havering’s food banks, which give out supplies free of charge.

Packing a picnic basketPacking a picnic basket

Angela reckons that means she’s able to reach a different group of people.

“Sometimes people are embarrassed to go to food banks,” she explained. “They’d rather know that they’ve paid something.

Fifteen years ago, Angela’s eldest daughter Samantha died after an illness.

Heartbroken, the single mum she knew she had to hold things together for her other children – the youngest of whom wasn’t even born.

She carried on working as a credit controller and saving whatever she could, eventually securing a mortgage.

Sadly, her problems weren’t over.

“The fact I was able to get a mortgage as a single mum was brilliant,” she said. “But then I struggled every single month.

“I’d pay the mortgage and feel good for two weeks, then start worrying. That went on every month for about a year.

“The job I was doing paid pretty well, but if you’ve got five children they’re going to get ill and you’re not always going to be able to go into work.

“Then the work stops coming in and then you go on benefits, and that’s not enough to pay the mortgage.”

She avoided asking for help – because she was embarrassed by the situation she found herself in.

“I didn’t want the mortgage people to know I was claiming benefits,” she admitted. “People are embarrassed when they’re working and still can’t afford the basics.”

Finally came the devastating but inevitable conclusion – with months of accumulated debt, and five children aged between four and 14, Angela lost her house.

“Once people buy their own house they look OK on the outside, but you don’t know what’s going on,” she said. “Sometimes they can’t even put the basics on the table.”

Knowing she had to provide for her children, determined Angela went back to college – and came out with a psychology degree that meant she was able to earn a decent wage as a carer.

Ten years later, she’s back on her feet – and her mind has turned to the people who helped out when times were tough.

“Sometimes we just didn’t have enough,” she recalled. “But I found if I could just get help for a week where food was concerned, I’d be able to keep going until pay day.

“A few of my friends were in the same situation – by the end of the month they were just a little bit short.

“So we would help each other out at different times. That’s where it was born.”

Founded six months ago, PicnicBasketMe now delivers two or more food baskets a week to struggling households.

“What I won’t do is deliver a basket for two weeks and then do the same two weeks later,” Angela reasoned. “You have to wait a month before I can deliver again. That two week gap is for you to help yourself.”

The charity’s shopping and delivery is covered by Angela’s able team of five – her children, now in their teens and 20s. But she relies on donations to meet the cost of the food itself. The shopping and delivery costs Angela about double what the people pay - and that’s assuming they’re able to put up the money at all.

“People are supposed to pay when I deliver, but not everybody is able to,” she admitted. “And I’m not walking away from those houses with a full basket of food.”

If you’d like to help, contact Angela on 07852 778 914 or visit www.picnicbasketme.co.uk to find out more about the charity’s work.

0 comments

Latest Romford News Stories

A motorcyclist has been taken to hospital after a collision in Southend

A motorcyclist from Upminster has been taken to hospital after a collision in Southend.

Upminster Windmill is having its entire cap removed, including fantail and sails, for the first time since 1803, as part of the continuing resotration programme.

Today is a historic day for Upminster’s 213-year-old windmill.

Tricia Dear, mother of 16-year-old Paddy Dear who died after falling down a cliff on his school trip.

“In your mind, you know that so much time has elapsed that hope is drifting away.”

07:00
Nearly 100 police officers from across London attended the scene at the Orchard Village estate, Rainham, in July last year. About 300 residents were evacuated for eight hours. Credit: @beckileigh_x

A man who tested a homemade bomb in his kitchen causing the evacuation of hundreds of people, wanted to kill himself after being arrested over child pornography, a court heard on Tuesday.

Best man Robert Naughton, Donald Naughton, Lucy Rayner and Bishop Trevor Mwamba. Photo: Claire Still/BHRUT

Due to a serious illness, a couple together for 20 years, brought forward their wedding and held it in a hospital’s intensive care unit on Wednesday.

Collier Row fire

More than 20 officers and firefighters were called to the scene in Collier Row Road just after 7pm last night.

Valentines Mansion, Emerson Road, Ilford IG1 4XA - Launch of the Thames Gateway Business Awards.
Left to right: Aspers Head of Marketing Sean Langley, Aspers Marketing Manager Debbie Mazs, Archant Executive Editor Michael Adkins, Archant Commercial Director Tony Little and Bilal Sheikh from Mont Rose College

Entrepreneurs and business leaders from across east London and Essex descended on Valentines Mansion, Ilford, for the launch of the Thames Gateway Business Awards.

Mari Wilson otherwise known as The Neasden Queen of Soul. Photo: Cornel Lucas-1983

Fans of Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark, Sandie Shaw and Cilla Black are in for a treat as one of the country’s top soul acts prepares for a Romford stage.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe