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Purley Food Hub- Update



Dear All,

Invitation to Evening of Thanksgiving on 7th June

To mark the Food Hub’s 10th anniversary year this year, the Trustees and Management Committee are warmly inviting all of our volunteers, friends, donors and supporters to an Evening of Thanksgiving on Wednesday 7th June.

The event is being held at our base at Purley United Reformed Church, 906 Brighton Road, Purley CR8 2LN, which is next to Purley Hospital.

Refreshments will be served from 5.00pm, and tours behind the scenes at the Food Hub will begin at 5.15pm, with the opportunity also to meet the Trustees and members of the Management Committee.

At 6.30pm there will be a Service of Thanksgiving, to be led by Revd Russell Furley-Smith, Minister at Purley URC, and Revd Fiona Weaver, Vicar of St Mark’s and St Swithun’s Churches Purley, who is also one of the Food Hub Trustees.

To help with catering, if you are planning to come on 7th June, please phone or text to 07546 635295 or email purleyfoodhub@gmail.com by 31st May. Thank you!


Not sweet enough... we totally ran out of sugar!

No one can quite remember it happening before but during April we completely ran out of one of our major stock items for clients...and are currently facing the same with two other items, all the result of continued very high client numbers.

So for May, we are making an urgent appeal please for donations of three top-priority items
  • Small 500g bags of sugar after our supplies totally dried up last month, and
  • Tinned tomatoes and tinned rice pudding which are close to becoming completely depleted.
In addition, seven other items are on May's list: 
  • Hot chocolate drinking requiring only water
  • Tins of dessert fruit
  • Microwave tray meals for toddlers
  • Bars of soap
  • Unisex shampoo
  • Unisex deodorants
  • Washing powder tablets
Louise Willmer, our Stock Controller, says:
 I want to thank all of our wonderful supporters - churches, schools, businesses, community organisations, etc, and many individuals and families - for your generous donations in April - these were so very much appreciated.

Regrettably we continue to experience increased numbers of clients being referred to us for emergency food parcels, and this has left a big dent in areas of our stocks. The three items we have highlighted in red are either totally depleted or soon will be and so are this month's top priorities. 

Special thanks therefore to the supporter who, after learning of the appeal for more sugar from our website, kindly brought 15 carrier bags of donations on Saturday 29th April…three of the bags each containing 10 small bags of sugar, in time to add to the morning’s deliveries to clients.

After second busiest March, our second busiest April

Following hot on the heels of our second busiest March, we had our second busiest April - with food for over 4,800 meals delivered to 535 clients and family members.

It included a double food delivery for 23 clients and family members on Saturday 29th April to cover Saturday 6th May, Coronation Day, when the Food Hub will be closed.

April’s meals total was 2,250 more than in 2022, and second only to April 2020 in the midst of the first Covid lockdown.

And it is why we are always so highly grateful for each and every donated can, packet, jar, box and bottle that we receive.


New Trustee enjoys delivering church's donations

Noel Brownsell (pictured) has been appointed a Trustee of the Food Hub. He is a parishioner at St John the Baptist Catholic Church Purley…and thoroughly enjoys each month delivering donations from his fellow parishioners to the Food Hub.

Noel was a foster parent for 30 years, specialising in the care of children with a variety of disabilities, and also part of Croydon's Shared Lives scheme. He retired from selling heavy Scania trucks 12 years ago.


Renaissance staff develop ‘new growth of activity’ 

One of the dictionary definitions of “renaissance” is to develop “new growth of activity or interest in something” - and that’s exactly what staff employed by the three companies based in the Renaissance office building in Dingwall Road, East Croydon, have developed for the Food Hub!

At their wellbeing day on Tuesday 25th April they generously donated food items and more than £600 in raffle ticket sales, with a donation also from the event sponsor Wates as part of their community engagement.

In addition, one of the stallholders donated a box of fresh fruit which Renaissance receptionist Robyn Miller kindly delivered to us on Saturday 29th in time to drop in to the clients’ food parcels.

Robyn said after the event:
 We are very pleased to have supported Food Hub. It’s very important to us to contribute to a charity local to us in Croydon, and we are fortunate that the occupants of the building are very keen to support our efforts to raise funds and collect food and household items for the food bank. 

Robyn (centre) is pictured with two of her colleagues Tina and Ben, who also played a big part in organising the event at Renaissance, along with Robyn’s receptionist colleague Natalie (not in photo).


Devotees are passionate about serving the community

Sanatan Mandir in Coulsdon (known as The Mandir) marked the festival of Akshaya Tritiya on Saturday 24th April with a key aim of collecting for local food banks, such as the Food Hub.

Sachin Bagla, who chairs the management committee, and Sanjana Idnani, a youth committee leader, explain:

 This festival is an auspicious day in the Hindu calendar and puts particular importance on charitable giving and encouraging devotees to serve others. The positive impact of doing good deeds on this day is said to multiply and last forever.

At the Mandir we are passionate about serving our wider local community and this was a wonderful opportunity for us to give back to those around us. The Mandir was open for extended hours from 10.00am - 8.00pm for people to come and donate food and other items to the collection.

We received a variety of items from cereal, pasta, biscuits, tinned food to shower gel and hand sanitisers. We received generous donations from many within the Mandir community including some who were coming to our Mandir for the first time!

As a result, we were able to deliver two almost full car boot loads of items to the Food Hub on Monday 24th and we hope this can make a difference to those who need it in our community during these trying times. 

Some of the Mandir devotees with their donations bound for the Food Hub.


More volunteer drivers are urgently needed

Welcome and thank you to our two new volunteer drivers Michael Brown and Graham Duncan - it’s great to have you both on board!

BUT we still urgently need more drivers.

At several sessions in April the drivers made, between them, a total of 27, 28 or 29 deliveries, and on two occasions 31. The extra drivers are needed to make Wednesday or Saturday morning deliveries to clients’ homes across Purley/Kenley, Coulsdon, South Croydon/Sanderstead and Waddon.

Jean Ludlow, our Administrator, emails the drivers each week to find out who is available to deliver, and for those who say they can, she follows up with an email listing the usually two or three delivery addresses for the next Wednesday or Saturday.

Then the drivers arrive at the Food Hub at scheduled 10-minute intervals during the morning to collect the clients’ food bags for delivery.

It’s worth pointing out that sometimes the bags can be heavy with the tins inside, and of course some clients live on second or third floors (or occasionally higher).

But our current drivers say that the delight and gratitude that the clients express at receiving the food far outweigh the odd inconvenience for them!

For more details, please email Jean at purleyfoodhub@gmail.com.


Donations received during April


We gratefully acknowledge many generous donations of food and toiletries and money in April. Donations were received from (among others):

2nd Warlingham Brownies
Coffee Club, Sanderstead Methodist Church (£50)
Croydon Communities Consortium
Fructose Free Foods
Infohealth Pharmacy, Coulsdon
Philippa Johnstone via Sainsbury’s
Purley Rotary
Renaissance, East Croydon
Sanderstead & Selsdon Rotary
Slimming World, Warlingham
Woodcote Neighbours
Women’s Circle, St Mark’s Church

Bankside, Selsdon
Cane Hill Park, Coulsdon
Cumberlands, Kenley
Heathhurst Road, Sanderstead
Mead Way - East Coulsdon Residents’ Association
Selsdon Road, South Croydon

All Saints, Kenley
Christ Church, Purley
Coulsdon Methodist
Croham Road Baptist, South Croydon
Emmanuel, South Croydon

Purley Baptist
Purley United Reformed
Sanderstead Methodist
Sanderstead United Reformed
St Aidan’s, Coulsdon
St Barnabas, Purley
St Gertrude’s, South Croydon
St James, Riddlesdown
St John’s, Old Coulsdon
St John the Baptist, Purley
St Margaret’s, Carshalton Beeches
St Mark’s, Woodcote
St Mary’s, Old Coulsdon
St Mary’s Sanderstead
St Peter’s, South Croydon
St Swithun’s, Purley
The Mandir, Coulsdon

Clark family

Ridgeway Primary PTA, South Croydon

Morrisons, Caterham
Morrisons, Five Ways, Croydon
Sainsbury’s, Warlingham
Sainsbury’s Local, Purley
Waitrose, Coulsdon
Waitrose, Sanderstead

We also received food donations from many individual supporters and families: some stopped to record their email address on our donations sheet in order to receive the news update and future food lists, while others preferred to remain anonymous. We thank EVERYONE!!!

Left: Volunteer Brian’s car is piled high with donations from Morrisons, Five Ways, Croydon and Croham Road Baptist Church. These were shared with Purley and St Francis Food Stops.
Right: Volunteer Laura is pleased to receive Philippa’s crates of donations delivered to the Food Hub by Sainsbury’s.


Stay in touch through our website and social media

Regularly updated news about the Food Hub is posted on our website at www.purleyfoodhub.net and on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.


Please continue to keep the Food Hub’s Trustees and Management Committee in your thoughts and prayers as the Trustees plan ahead and the MC deals with the day-to-day operations.

Also please remember our local partners, including the three Food Stops at Old Lodge Lane Baptist Church, Purley; St Francis Church, Monks Hill, Selsdon; and Fieldway Family Centre, New Addington.

And the other partners we pass surplus food on to, including The Vine Food Bank, New Addington; Nightwatch, Croydon; and Croydon Refugee Day Centre.

With our warmest thanks and best wishes,

Steve Hunt

Steve Hunt - Admin Team
Purley Food Hub
Email: steve.purleyfoodhub@gmail.com
Website: www.purleyfoodhub.net

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