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Emily’s art boosts growing Yarmouth foodbank

A pupil at a primary school in Bradwell has been selling her pictures in order to raise money for the Yarmouth & Magdalen Foodbank, which is expanding its capacity and is seeking more volunteers. 

Emily Hansby-Patterson, who is a year three pupil at Hillside Primary School, came up with the idea herself and has so far raised £75 for the foodbank.


Emily’s mum, Fiona, explains, “Emily has always loved being creative, whether it’s painting, modelling clay or general arts and crafts. After Harvest Festival last year, we talked about what the foodbanks do for families and why they are needed. She couldn’t wrap her head around why people can’t just have a snack or meal when they wanted to, so she wanted to help by selling her art to raise money.”


“She has taken on commissions from family and friends and requested a donation in return. I couldn’t be prouder of her kind heart and ability to recognise how lucky she is. Emily now attends art classes at no.36, the artwork shop in Gorleston, and hopes to improve and sell more artwork to continue fundraising for the foodbank.”


Emily said, “I hope that plenty of people get meals from my fundraising because it’s not fair that not everyone can afford food. It’s important eat and stay healthy”


Anna Price, Trustee of Yarmouth & Magdalen Foodbank and Community Lead at St Mary Magdalene, where one of the foodbank centres is located, said: “we have been so touched by Emily’s kindness.  The fact that it was her own idea and response to what she had heard about foodbanks is particularly moving. The rising costs of living are putting extra pressures on everybody, and we are already seeing that translate into rising demand in our foodbank centres.”


In order to meet the rising need, the Yarmouth & Magdalen Foodbank has recently opened a temporary warehouse to store food for the coming winter.


Mrs Price continued, “The warehouse has been in the planning ever since we realised the likely extent of the cost-of-living crisis and it is great to see it come into being.  The new capacity of having a warehouse enables us to store much more food than we are able to at the foodbank centres.  This means we are now ready to receive much needed increased donations from the general public in preparation for the hard times that are to come.”


Ian Johnstone, the newly appointed warehouse manager, said, “I’m really pleased and excited to be part of this much needed infrastructure to help serve our busy foodbank through what is going to be a challenging winter for all of us – especially those already who are struggling to get food and eat properly. Please volunteer and join a fantastic team to help those that need our help and give something to your local community.”


The foodbank is now looking to recruit a team of warehouse volunteers in order to sort and pack the food along with a team of drivers to collect the food donations and distribute the packed parcels to the centres.  Anyone who is interested in volunteering for a couple of hours a week (during the day or evenings/weekends), should go to yarmouthmagdalen.foodbank.org.uk for more details or contact Iain at the e-mail address below.


The Yarmouth & Magdalen Foodbank opened in March 2022 as a partnership between the Great Yarmouth Pathway Cafe, St Mary Magdalene Church in Gorleston and the Trussell Trust (the national foodbank network).  Since March, 13,500 kg of food has been distributed to those in the most need, in the form of referral based, short term emergency food parcels.  43 agencies (including statutory services and charities) have made 1374 referrals, supplying 3-day emergency food parcels for 1871 adults and 919 children.  The numbers of referrals each month have doubled since April 2022 and are currently rising particularly steeply.


Anyone wishing to donate food should look out for one of the growing number of Yarmouth & Magdalen Foodbank donation points across the Borough, deliver it direct to the Minster Mission on Admiralty Road, Great Yarmouth or to St Mary Magdalene Church in Gorleston.  For further details and information on how to give financially, click here.


If anyone would like to host a donation point at their local business or office, or volunteer at the warehouse, they can contact [email protected]


To read our previous story about the Yarmouth & Magdalen Foodbank click here.


The picture of Emily with a piece of her artwork is courtesy of Fiona Hansby-Patterson.


Do you have a news story or forthcoming event relating to Christians or a church in East Norfolk?  

If so, e-mail [email protected] with details and, if possible a suitable picture. 

Tony Rothe, 25/10/2022

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