Search

Rainham resident Richard on how food bank helped him through Christmas

16:59 09 January 2013

Caretaker John Grant (left) with Richard Murton at the Rainham food bank

Caretaker John Grant (left) with Richard Murton at the Rainham food bank

Archant

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, food will have been on the minds of many. But for some, it’s less a question of what to cook and more about where the next meal is coming from.

Luckily, Havering’s three food banks, run by the Trussell Trust, were on hand as December drew to a close. Supported by donations and volunteers, centres in Collier Row, Harold Hill and Rainham made Christmas merrier for 135 of Havering’s neediest people.

Food banks dish out emergency supplies of food in exchange for vouchers, which are obtained through police and health and social workers.

Rainham residents Richard Murton, 46 and his brother Chris Gordon, 33, were among those who turned to the Rainham food bank for their Christmas dinner.

“Without them I’d be completely lost,” said Richard. “Living off scraps is no good to anyone.”

Richard is unable to work because of mental health issues and relies upon benefits. Three years ago, he was reunited with his younger brother – who had been living on the streets for more than a decade – through a mutual friend, and took him in.

Richard, of Lower Mardyke Avenue, says the food bank makes all the difference when times are tough.

“I only go when I really need to – I don’t abuse their generosity,” he said.

“For the pair of us, it means rather than going hungry for a few days we have something to eat.”

The food bank, based in South Street’s Mardyke Community Centre and supported by the Trussell Trust and local church groups, helps in another way, too. Richard, who used to work at a chemical plant, suffered a breakdown six years ago and has been unable to return to work since.

But as a volunteer at the community centre – where he undertakes caretaker duties and delivers leaflets – he’s been able to give something back to the community he’s lived in for 12 years.

“It gives me a lot of confidence in myself to be able to go over there and give help,” he said, “and it gives me self-respect that they ask me for help at the food bank.

“Delivering leaflets gives me exercise and gets me out in the local area. My illness won’t allow me to go out and do much more than that.”

The Rainham food bank benefited from 1.25tonnes of food donated by Tesco shoppers throughout December. The supermarket chain was running a national campaign to collect food for the Trussell Trust, which operates food banks across the country.

In the fortnight leading up to Christmas, food banks gave 2000 people in London three days’ emergency food supplies.

For more information, visit http://www.trusselltrust.org/.

0 comments

Latest Romford News Stories

Frank Spurling at Cranham Community Centre's art society

Colouring books to combat stress were a top-selling product last year, but Cranham Art Society has been promoting the relaxing benefits of painting for years.

15:00
Potential new recruits attend the Army Recruiting Centre, London Road, opening day last Tuesday

The Army Reserve has marched back to Romford after identifying the town as an ideal site for recruitment.

15:00
Mark Colman. Picture: Debby Richardson

A former soldier is making a second attempt to claim an underwater endurance world record to raise £1million for charity.

Yesterday, 17:05
Leah who is part of the young people group at Havering Mind

The Recorder has launched a major mental health awareness campaign with charity Havering Mind, which will run throughout 2016. Through Mind Your Mental Health we aim to break down the stigma that persists and share advice for analysing and improving the wellbeing of our community. This week Emma Lake finds out how mentors can help young people

Yesterday, 17:00
Havering Mind's Live a better life programme, at, Harrow Lodge House, Hornchurch

Vanessa Bennett

It is estimated that in any given year 20 per cent of children will suffer from a mental health problem.

Yesterday, 14:00
The Recorder is running a competition where readers can win five family tickets to the London Aquarium

Up for grabs this week are five family tickets for one of the capital’s most popular attractions – the London Aquarium.

Yesterday, 12:01
Copper Box arena school dance championship, Abbs Cross Academy

Dancers have been celebrating walking away from a London-wide championship with two awards.

Yesterday, 07:00
Council is set to increase by 3.99 per cent

Residents face a bigger council tax bill after a 3.99 per cent increase was given approval on Wednesday.

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

Champagne experience

This Valentine’s Day, the Coca-Cola London Eye is the perfect destination for lovebirds, offering a range of romantic experiences from Friday 12th February - Sunday 14th February 2016.

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe