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

Yesterday, 16:47
Emergency resurfacing work on the Canning Town flyover (Picture: @TfLTrafficNews)

The A13 has severe delays this evening and remains partially closed following an earlier oil spill.

Yesterday, 16:30
Havering Samaritains cycle 247 miles at Romford station to raise awareness about their services

Commuters were welcomed to an usual scene at Romford station today.

Yesterday, 14:46
Residents have been disappointed to see how the tree is looking, Picture: Lewis Green.

Aggrieved residents have called on the council to do more for their area after the town centre’s Christmas tree was snapped lopsided and without half its lights.

Yesterday, 14:30
Dawn Spendlove-Fairie and son Nathan, 19, grand daughter Maddie, six, and grandson Ryan, 10 in his wheelchair, in their cramped room.

A grandmother fears for the safety of her disabled grandson after being forced to move into a hostel.

Yesterday, 12:26
Ricky Hayden (Picture: Kosho Bar)

A teenager has denied killing doorman Ricky Hayden, who was stabbed to death outside his home.

Yesterday, 11:39
Orchard Village, Rainham

Exasperated residents have launched a legal challenge against a housing association, which they claim has repeatedly failed to provide effective repairs on their estate for more than a year.

Yesterday, 11:00
Dan Evans, who was awarded Buiness Person of the Year at the Havering Awards, has launched a new network to support young professionals

A network to help young professionals in the borough make the connections they need to shape their carer was launched last night.

Yesterday, 09:32
Havering Mind choir records its Christmas song 'One day nearer'  Credit: helloDAVID TV & Promotions

It’s one day nearer to Christmas, and service users at a mental health charity are celebrating the festive season with a song.

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

£3,000 goes a long way at Boots

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now