Royston foodbank to close as project managers retire

PUBLISHED: 06:54 22 November 2019

Royston Foodbank will close at the end of the month. Picture: Archant

Royston Foodbank will close at the end of the month. Picture: Archant

Archant

Royston Foodbank is to close at the end of this month when the project managers retire to spend more time with their family.

In happier times: The then Royston mayor Robert Smith officially opens Royston Foodbank on March 29, 2014, with a donation accepted by members of the management commitee Andy Williams, Viv Williams, Matt Hall, Audrey Hinnells and Rob Fox. Picture: Danny LooIn happier times: The then Royston mayor Robert Smith officially opens Royston Foodbank on March 29, 2014, with a donation accepted by members of the management commitee Andy Williams, Viv Williams, Matt Hall, Audrey Hinnells and Rob Fox. Picture: Danny Loo

Andy and Viv Williams run the foodbank - which was set up in March 2014 in Market Hill - and say they have been exploring many avenues over the past year to keep it going.

In a statement, Andy and Viv said said: "The trustees of Royston Foodbank have been exploring many avenues over the past year, including the possibility of taking on a new lease, or becoming a satellite with another foodbank, however they have recently been in discussion with a local community group who are keen to set up a new foodbank, and the trustees feel that this is the best option to enable ongoing help to local people.

"Should this new venture go ahead there would be a foodbank operating in the town again in the spring, but in the meantime Letchworth, Baldock and Cambridge foodbanks have assured us that Royston clients are very welcome to use their services.

"Referral agencies are being advised to continue to refer clients as normal but direct them to their nearest foodbank.

An example of the amount of food a family of four would need for three days. Picture: Danny LooAn example of the amount of food a family of four would need for three days. Picture: Danny Loo

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"We have found the last few years challenging but incredibly worthwhile. The service has been run completely by a dedicated team of volunteers, and the foodbank has been able to help many local families who have found themselves in difficulty.

"Being a fairly small foodbank in an amazingly generous community has meant that it has been possible to take time to help with more than just food needs.

"This closure has been a difficult but necessary decision, and we fervently hope that the community will continue to support any new foodbank venture setting up in the town."

In happier times: The then Royston mayor Robert Smith officially opens Royston Foodbank on March 29, 2014, with a donation accepted by members of the management commitee Andy Williams, Viv Williams, Matt Hall, Audrey Hinnells and Rob Fox. Picture: Danny LooIn happier times: The then Royston mayor Robert Smith officially opens Royston Foodbank on March 29, 2014, with a donation accepted by members of the management commitee Andy Williams, Viv Williams, Matt Hall, Audrey Hinnells and Rob Fox. Picture: Danny Loo

Food collections to Royston Foodbank ceased at Tesco and Newlings in October, with six weeks' worth of supplies built up.

The Trussell Trust is said to be working with Tesco's Royston store to reallocate the in-store collection to another charity, with FareShare mooted to be a possibility as it already distributes food to more than 11,000 frontline charities in the UK.

Harvest Festival donations are being directed to Jimmy's Nightshelter in Cambridge, as Royston is unable to take in any more food.

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