News Archive

December 2022

Most needed in January: milk, meat meals, peanut butter and hot chocolate

Thank you for your huge donations of Christmas goodies – now it’s back to basics

31 December 2022
Thank you everyone for your magnificent response to our December appeal for Christmas goodies.

Your huge donations of mince pies, biscuits and children’s chocolate treats and desserts helped brighten up the festive season for our struggling clients and their families.

In January, it’s fully ‘back to basics’ with a long list of staple food items requested – headed by, once again, long life whole milk for clients’ children.

Tinned meat meals such as mince in gravy and chicken in sauce are asked for, along with jars of peanut butter and fish & meat paste, hot chocolate needing only water, 500g bags of sugar and savoury biscuits. Tinned pulses and microwavable meals for toddlers are also on the list.

Non-food items especially needed at this time are unisex shampoo, toothpaste and toilet rolls. Click here to view this month’s full list.

We are open to receive donations on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings between 9.00am and 12.00midday at our base at Purley United Reformed Church in Purley town centre (next to Purley Hospital). Or you can drop them off at any of our local in-store and roadside collection points listed here.

We continue to be so very grateful for everyone’s generosity, especially at this increasingly difficult time for so many. Over the past 10 years you have helped us to provide 285,000 meals to hard-pressed clients and their families. Thank you all.

The Food Hub is now closed – deliveries resume on Dec 28th

Wishing all clients, partners, donors, volunteers and supporters a very Happy Christmas

22 December 2022
At our double session on Wednesday 21st December we provided food for 143 adults and children, a total of nearly 1,300 meals – the most ever on our last opening day before Christmas.

Two messages received from grateful clients said:

  • “I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the extremely plentiful food you delivered. So generous. Thank you.”
  • “Thanks for everything and to everyone involved in Purley Food Hub, you have made Christmas for me and many others.”

Our next food deliveries will be on Wednesday 28th December.

As 2022 draws to a close, we send our very best wishes for a happy Christmas to all our clients, partners, donors, volunteers and supporters. We would also like to say a huge thank you to EVERYONE who has contributed to meeting the needs of people in crisis during 2022. The last few months have been among our busiest ever and the trend looks likely to continue into the new year.

In January 2023 the Food Hub will mark 10 years in operation. Our clients can be assured that we plan to continue providing emergency food aid to local people in crisis for as long as we are needed.

November meals more than double last year’s figure

Upward trend continues in December as Christmas adds to pressure on families in crisis

4 December 2022
The 3,980 meals delivered by the Food Hub in October were followed by a further 4,167 meals for 463 clients and family members in November, continuing the upward trend and taking us past 35,000 meals for the year so far.

It was our busiest ever November, with well over double the 1,980 meals provided in November 2021. That is why we continue to be so thankful for every single donation we receive from our super-generous supporters. In October and November we received more than 18,500 food and toiletry items, bring the total so far this year to more than 78,000.

In addition we have received many cash donations, and your amazing generosity means we can continue to support partner organisations including Purley and St Francis Food Stops, also seeing record numbers, where many of our clients move on to after receiving our initial four emergency food parcels.

The upward trend looks certain to continue in December as Christmas adds to the pressure on already hard-pressed families and individuals.

Our Christmas projects aim to help ease that pressure, and more than 170 single clients and families referred by the Food Hub’s Ticket Partners will receive Aldi supermarket gift cards to buy food for a Christmas meal thanks to the Come Dine with Jesus project run by our parent organisation, Purley & Kenley Churches Together.

In addition, toys for 185 children are being provided through the churches’ Toys for Joy scheme. A big thank you to everyone who has worked on and contributed to these projects. If you wish to donate to these online – there’s still time! – please visit our Stewardship Christmas Projects page.

November 2022

Why we’re hoping for a very dairy Christmas

Long life milk urgently needed in December, along with tinned meats and festive goodies

27 November 2022
December’s list of most-needed items is a mix of staples and Christmas goodies, but it is headed again by long life whole milk.

During October we distributed close to 400 one-litre cartons of milk to clients with their food parcels, followed by a further 300-plus cartons in the first three weeks of November. As a result our stocks are now very low and we need an urgent top-up of milk supplies as we head towards Christmas.

Tinned chicken, ham and corned beef, together with tins of peas and carrots and tinned dessert fruit, and small bottles of squash (and washing up liquid) are the staple items we especially need at this time.

The Christmas goodies listed are biscuits and mince pies, and for children chocolate treats and desserts … as an alternative to Christmas pudding!

We welcome donations on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings between 9.00am and 12.00midday at Purley United Reformed Church (next to Purley Hospital) in Purley town centre. Or else you can drop them off at any of our local in-store and roadside collection points listed here.

We are so very grateful for everyone’s continued generosity, especially at this time. Over the past nearly 10 years you have kindly helped us to provide more than 280,000 meals to hard-pressed clients and their families.

Help us to support struggling families over Christmas

Festive plans include Aldi vouchers for Christmas dinner and return of popular Toys for Joy scheme

18 November 2022
Churches Together in Purley and Kenley, Purley Food Hub’s parent organisation, will be supporting the local community again this Christmas with two projects, Come Dine with Jesus and Toys for Joy.

The Come Dine with Jesus project gives Aldi supermarket gift cards to local families so that they can buy the ingredients for a Christmas meal. Recipients will be nominated by the Food Hub’s ticket partners.

The gift cards are intended for households who may not be able to afford a traditional Christmas meal, and will not be valid for alcohol or lottery purchases. Accompanying the gift cards will be booklets with a Christian message.

We are also very pleased to announce that the Toys for Joy scheme, which had to be suspended during the Covid crisis, will be reinstated this year. We are appealing to supporters to either purchase a new toy for a child of any age up to 16 years, or donate money for toys to be bought.

The toys will be collected at Purley Baptist Church from Sunday 20th November until Friday 25th November. Purley Baptist is having a ‘Bring a Toy’ event at their 9.30 am and 11.15 am services on 20th November, and you can bring a toy to either of these services.

Alternatively, toys can be brought to the PBC Church Office in Banstead Road, Purley, from Monday 21st November until Friday 25th November between 10 am and 3 pm.

If you would like to make a financial contribution to either of these projects you can donate at our Stewardship online giving account and specify ‘Christmas Projects’ in the reference box. You can also scan this QR code to make a donation.

QR code

If you prefer to send a cheque please make this payable to Purley Food Hub, write ‘Christmas Projects’ on the reverse and send to Joanna Walker, Treasurer, Purley Food Hub, c/o Purley Baptist Church, Banstead Road, CR8 3EA.

Volunteers are also needed to help delivering the gift cards to clients early in December, and with handing out the donated toys at Purley Baptist Church on Saturday 3rd December when parents will be collecting them. Craft activities for the children and refreshments for all will be provided from 10am – 1pm.

For offers of help with either of these projects, or if you have any questions, please contact Jean Ludlow on 07546 635295 or email christmasprojects@pfoodhub.org.uk.

Big thank you for bumper crop of Harvest donations

More than 30 schools, churches and others respond to autumn food appeal

2 November 2022
Thank you so much to the many schools, churches, organisations, families and individuals who have responded so magnificently to this year’s Harvest appeal.

Among the schools was Laleham Lea in Purley, who dropped off hundreds of items donated by the school’s families. Head Teacher Karen Barry said: “Laleham Lea families are very generous with our charitable giving and we hope this donation helps to play a part in supporting the fantastic work that the Food Hub does for the local community.”

Other schools who donated in October were Beaumont Primary, Purley; Chipstead Valley Primary, Coulsdon; Christ Church C of E Primary, Purley; Coulsdon C of E Primary; Foresters Primary, Wallington; Keston Primary, Coulsdon; Oasis Academy Coulsdon; Regina Coeli Catholic Primary, South Croydon; St David’s, Purley and The Hayes Primary, Kenley.

As well as contributions from 22 local churches, we also received great support from community groups and organisations including 17th Purley Beavers; CAMEO at Purley Baptist Church; Croydon Communities Consortium; Croydon & Sutton Amal Branch, CWU; Infohealth Pharmacy, Coulsdon; Inner Wheel, Purley; Number 9 The Nursery, Sanderstead; Women’s Circle, St Mark’s Church, Woodcote and WPA Neighbours (Woodcote Park Avenue neighbourhood community), Purley.

Louise Willmer, Acting Chair of the Food Hub’s Management Committee, said: “So far in 2022 we have delivered food for 30,000 meals to local families facing hardship, often needing to choose between heating and eating. It is directly through the amazing support we receive from schools, churches, businesses, organisations and others, as well as many families and individuals that, together, we can make a difference to people in real need.”

Louise also warmly thanked volunteer drivers John and Phil who delivered a large number of the school donations to our base at Purley United Reformed Church, and the church caretakers Mary and Lorraine who helped unload and store the many bags and boxes.

Pictured: Pupils from Laleham Lea School; 17th Purley Beavers; Gill Hickman from East Coulsdon Residents Association; Rev’d Fiona Weaver with the donation from St David’s School; and volunteer driver Phil with the collection from Keston Primary School.

Just under 4,000 meals delivered in October

Packing and delivery teams expanding to meet increased demand

2 November 2022
Food for just under 4,000 meals was provided by the Food Hub to 443 clients and family members during October, the most in a single month since January.

October’s 3,987 meals took to more than 10,000 the total delivered in the last three months, and past 31,500 meals overall so far this year – with the busy months of November and December still to come.

In the last few weeks several of our twice-weekly packing and delivery sessions have been busier than last Christmas, which historically was our busiest period ever.

As the sessions on Saturday and Wednesday mornings have got busier we have begun recruiting an extra packer for each session, with four packers working in two teams of two. We will also be having an extra afternoon session on our last operating day before Christmas on 21st December.

We continue to be VERY GRATEFUL INDEED for each and every donation we receive from our donors and supporters, and for the unfailing generosity of our supporters, especially in these difficult times.

October 2022

Squash, sugar and long grain rice most needed in November

More than 30,000 meals delivered so far this year, with busiest months still to come

30 October 2022
Huge thanks to more than 30 schools, churches and other organisations who donated Harvest food to the Food Hub in October.

Along with donations from many families and individuals, it meant we were able to provide food for approaching 4,000 meals for clients and their families during the month, taking us past 30,000 meals in 2022 so far.

With our traditionally busiest months of November and December to come, small bottles of squash and 500g packets of sugar and long grain rice are among our Top Ten priority items most needed this month, along with tinned peas, carrots and potatoes, and tinned rice pudding. Also listed are cartons of long life whole milk for clients’ children and packets of sweet biscuits. Unisex shampoo and washing powder capsules/tablets are this month’s most wanted non-food items.

Click here to view this month’s full list.

We are glad to receive donations on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings between 9.00am and 12.00midday at our base at Purley United Reformed Church in Purley town centre (next to Purley Hospital). Or they can be dropped off at any of our local in-store and roadside collection points listed here.

Thank you everyone for your continued generosity. To date, you have helped us to provide more than 275,000 meals since we started in 2013.

‘The worst situation many of us have seen in our lifetime’

Speakers at Food Hub AGM warn of harder times ahead for vulnerable local people

22 October 2022
“We are facing really dire times. Needs are increasing while resources are reducing.”

That is the stark message from Julia Lee, leader of Purley Food Hub’s Client Support team, as the cost of living crisis intensifies and winter approaches.

Julia was speaking at the Food Hub’s annual general meeting on 18th October, where she relayed harrowing stories of vulnerable local people regularly going without food so that their children could eat.

“This is the worst situation many of us have seen in our lifetime,” said Julia. “In the past year our Client Support team has helped over 150 clients, offering advice and signposting them to specialist agencies.

“Over the next few months it’s going to get even harder as food prices go up and up and energy bills soar.”

Julia’s fears were echoed by other speakers at the meeting. Louise Willmer, the Food Hub’s Stock Controller, said: “In the last few weeks we have already had several sessions busier than last Christmas, which was our busiest period ever.”

Sam Pearson from St Francis Food Stop, Monks Hill, said: “Times are getting harder and people are really desperate. We now have 35 to 40 families a week using the Food Stop – that’s around 150 people being fed.

“But while demand is going up, our stocks from FareShare [who redistribute surplus food from supermarkets and the hospitality sector to charities] have declined dramatically.”

Major Emma Spencer, from The Vine Food Bank in New Addington, said: “We too have seen the numbers go up significantly. We currently have 80 to 100 people using the food bank, including quite a few families who have no recourse to public funds, and we have also had a stream of ladies who have been trafficked.”

Trevor Jones, the Food Hub’s Chair of Trustees, told the meeting: “We have been blessed with fantastic support, and thanks to the generosity of our donors we have been able to support Purley Food Stop at Old Lodge Lane Baptist Church, Croydon Nightwatch, Croydon Refugee Day Centre and two charity organisations in Thornton Heath as well as St Francis Food Stop and The Vine.

“Money donations over the year have exceeded the cost of running the Food Hub, though we expect these to decrease over the coming year as people really start to feel the pinch of rising food and energy costs.

“However, we are a food hub as well as a food bank, and want to be able to support others around us and not just ourselves. We will continue to do that as long as we are able.”

Julia Lee photo

Julia Lee, Client Support Team Leader

A playlist of speakers at the AGM is available on our YouTube channel here. Click on an image below to view individual speakers.

The AGM saw publication of our Annual Report. Click on the image to download a copy.

Partner groups to speak at Annual Meeting on 18th October

Volunteers, supporters, donors and friends are all warmly invited to attend

7 October 2022
All of the Food Hub’s volunteers, supporters, donors and friends are warmly invited to our Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 18th October at 7.30pm at Christ Church, Brighton Road, Purley CR8 2BN. Tea and coffee will be served from 7.15pm and parking is free.

We will be welcoming two guest speakers, Sam Pearson from St Francis Food Stop, Sanderstead, and Major Emma Spencer from The Vine Food Bank, New Addington. Sam and Emma represent two of our partner organisations, which include Purley Food Stop and Croydon Nightwatch, whom we are able to support thanks to the many generous donations that we receive from supporters.

Also speaking will be Food Hub volunteer Julia Lee, who will outline the specialised work of her team of Client Support Volunteers.

The agenda includes reports from Chair of Trustees Trevor Jones and the Management Committee’s Acting Chair, Louise Willmer, as well as publication of the Food Hub’s Annual Report for 2021/2022.

The Report has contributions by Trevor, Louise and the board of Trustees, and covers the highlights of the past financial year, a guide to different ways of supporting our work, a statement of financial activities and a feature article describing a typical week in the life of the Food Hub.

Appeal goes out for standby drivers to deliver food parcels

Upsurge in demand puts extra pressure on food stocks and manpower resources

6 October 2022
After food for 3,276 meals was delivered to 364 clients and family members in August, a further 3,186 meals were provided for 354 people in September.

That was 90 meals fewer than in August, but only because there were eight Wednesday / Saturday Food Hub sessions compared to nine the previous month.

September’s meals were more than 1,000 up on a year ago and confirmation of predictions that increasing numbers of families will struggle to cope with the cost of living crisis.

That puts extra pressure on our resources – we had 24 deliveries with food for 65 people on the last Saturday in SeptembSo we are now seeking to recruit a number of extra drivers who can occasionally be available at short notice to deliver clients’ food parcels. If you are interested, please use the form on the Contact page to request a volunteer application form, or email purleyfoodhub@gmail.com.

Stock Controller Louise said: “As we feared, we are now experiencing a huge increase in demand for deliveries. During September we were operating at full capacity on more than one occasion, and there is extra pressure on our stock reserves.”

It is very likely the number of clients will rise further in the autumn and we may surpass our existing capacity in November / December as the cold weather hits, energy costs increase and food bills continue to rise.r and 26 deliveries for 76 people on the first Saturday in October.

Deadline extended to sign ‘end food banks’ plea to Prime Minister

‘No one should have to turn to charity to feed themselves and their families’

6 October 2022
The deadline for final signatures for a letter to new Prime Minister Liz Truss calling for urgent action to end the need for food banks has been extended to 13th October.

IFAN, the Independent Food Aid Network (to which the Food Hub is affiliated) is planning to deliver the letter alongside the Trussell Trust and Feeding Britain around 15th October.

The letter states: “Every day we meet people who are skipping meals so they can feed their children and turning off their cooker or fridge so they can cover other essential costs … No one should have to turn to charity to feed themselves and their families.”

And it calls on the Prime Minister to act urgently to ensure “everyone has enough income, from work and social security, to buy the essentials.”

If you wish to consider signing the letter, please click on the image above or go to www.ifanuk.org/joint-letter.

September 2022

Howard Primary School Harvest collection 2022
First fruits: The Harvest 2022 donation from Howard Primary School, Croydon
Cumnor House collection Sept 2022
Cumnor House year 6 students Zaynab (Deputy Head Girl), Amritaa (Head Girl) and Gurpaij (Charities Prefect) who delivered the school’s Harvest donations
Volunteer Helen, who spoke at Woldingham School’s Harvest Assembly, with Isabella, the school's Sacred Heart Ribbon, who helped organise the collection
Volunteer Helen, who spoke at Woldingham School’s Harvest Assembly, with Isabella, the school's Sacred Heart Ribbon, who helped organise the collection

Promising outlook for this year’s Harvest collections

Thank you Howard Primary, Cumnor House Girls and Woldingham schools and Abbeyfield Purley

30 September 2022
As we start the busy run-up towards Christmas with increased numbers of clients expected, the first three schools have kindly contacted us to say they are donating their Harvest food collections to the Food Hub.

We collected the very first donation this year, from Howard Primary School, Croydon, in mid-September and then received the items from Cumnor House School for Girls, Purley on Monday 26th before collecting a car-load of donations from Woldingham School after their Harvest Festival service on the 29th.

Thank you all very much, Howard, Cumnor House Girls and Woldingham! Thank you also to the generous residents of Abbeyfield Home Purley who collected £126 at their Harvest Thanksgiving service.

Since the Food Hub opened nine years ago, we have been blessed each autumn with a big crop of Harvest donations from schools, churches and others – and these will be especially welcome this year: tins, bottles, jars and packets of long life, non-perishable items (but not fresh food thank you).

As a guide, our latest list of most needed items is published on our home page at the end of each month.

We are open to receive donations at Purley United Reformed Church, next to Purley Hospital, three mornings a week: (preferably) Mondays but also Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9.00am to 12.00midday. In case of difficulty, we can arrange for one of our volunteer drivers to collect.

If you are head of a school/college or a teacher, student or parent, and you would like to support our Harvest appeal, please contact Jean, our Administrator, by email to purleyfoodhub@gmail.com or phone 07546 635295.

Please keep treats for children in mind when making food donations

Milk, honey, jam and meat & fish paste among October’s most needed items

28 September 2022
Our Top Ten priority items for Food Hub clients in October include long life whole milk for children, jars of honey & jam, and jars of peanut butter, meat paste & fish paste.

Tins of plain meat such as beef stew and minced beef are also on our list, along with jars of tomato pasta sauce and tins of tomatoes and dessert fruit. There’s a special request as well for chocolate treats for clients’ children.

This month’s most wanted non-food items are toilet rolls and washing up liquid.

During September we delivered a further 3,186 meals to 354 clients and family members – just 10 people fewer than in August when we had nine Wednesday and Saturday sessions compared to eight in September.

Thank you everyone who generously donates food to us – you have enabled us to provide food for 275,000 meals to 30,500 clients since 2013.

Kindly bring donations any Monday, Wednesday or Saturday morning between 9.00am and 12.00midday to our base at Purley United Reformed Church, next to Purley Hospital in Purley town centre. Alternatively you can drop them off at any of our local in-store and roadside collection points listed here.

Morrisons raises food banks’ profile among shoppers

Community campaign promotes donations at Five Ways and Caterham stores

18 September 2022
Morrisons’ stores at Five Ways, Croydon, and Caterham both organised a campaign recently to raise the profile of the Food Hub and other local food banks among their customers.

At Five Ways, Morrisons staff and Food Hub volunteers were on hand to encourage shoppers to take part in the “pick up packs” scheme while also challenging them to fill a parking space with donations of our August most-needed items.

Louise, the Food Hub’s Stock Controller, said afterwards: “Thank you very much to Tina, the Five Ways store’s Community Champion and her colleagues who set up the day. We had many conversations with customers interested to find out more about our work, and we ended up taking a full car load of donations back to the Food Hub.

“In addition, many thanks to Jackie, the Community Champion at Morrisons Caterham, and everyone there for organising a similar opportunity for shoppers to give their support…and to our wonderful volunteer Bill who represented us on the day.

“We are so grateful to all of the supermarkets which support us by having collection points in their stores, such as Sainsbury’s Local Purley, Sainsbury’s Warlingham and Waitrose Sanderstead. And not forgetting the stalwart volunteers who every week pick up and deliver the donations to the Food Hub.”

Pictured are Tina and Louise with Paula (right), one of our Monday sorters, and her children Ethan and Elena. They were joined in the photo by a gentleman who was one of the many shoppers who donated food on the day. Our volunteers Fiona and Kate also kindly collected later.

Shayan (in yellow top) and friends with their certificates
Shayan (in yellow top) and friends with their certificates

Triathlon money to be shared with other food banks

Special thanks to youngsters who ran, swam and cycled to raise £2,200 for Food Hub

8 September 2022
Eight of the 26 children who took part in the charity triathlon organised by nine-year-old Shayan and his family on Easter Saturday were presented with their Food Hub thank-you certificates by Management Committee Acting Chair Louise Willmer during a behind-the-scenes visit in August..

The children swam, cycled and ran their way to raise a total of £2,270. During their visit to the Food Hub, Shayan (in yellow top) readily agreed to us splitting the money equally with Purley and St Francis Food Stops and The Link Food Bank, New Addington, each organisation receiving £567.50.

Richard Millar, on behalf of Purley Food Stop, said: “Thank you so much for your kindness – we are seeing our costs rise, like everybody else of course, as demand on our resources is increasing.”

St Francis Food Stop’s Michelle Wyatt added: “That is very kind. We have just found out that our energy bills are going up yet again – a five-fold increase in a year! I expect everyone else has similar issues.”

Shayan (back row, red top) and fellow triathletes
Flashback to Easter Saturday when Shayan (centre, in red top) and friends took part in a sponsored triathlon to raise funds for the Food Hub

‘Charitable food aid is not the solution to hardship’

Call goes out to new Prime Minister for action to end the need for food banks

8 September 2022
IFAN, the Independent Food Aid Network (to which Purley Food Hub is affiliated), is gathering signatures for a letter to the new Prime Minister calling for urgent action to end the need for food banks.

The letter, written jointly with the Trussell Trust and Feeding Britain, says people already unable to afford food are being hit the hardest by relentless rises in energy, food and travel costs: “Every day we meet people who are skipping meals so they can feed their children and turning off their cooker or fridge so they can cover other essential costs … and the next 12 months look bleaker still.”

The letter continues: “No one should have to turn to charity to feed themselves and their families,” and calls on the new Premier to take urgent action “to end the need for charitable food aid by ensuring everyone has enough income, from work and social security, to buy the essentials.”

If you wish to consider signing the IFAN letter, please click here.

August 2022

Most needed items: Tea, soup, hot dogs and meatballs

September’s list includes dried potato, dessert foods, toothpaste and baby wipes

29 August 2022
Packets of 80 tea bags, packet or tinned soup and tinned hot dogs and meatballs head the list of eight items that we especially need for the Food Hub’s clients in September.

Also listed are packets of dried potato, tinned dessert fruit and dried packet custard, while this month’s most needed non-food items are toothpaste and baby wipes.

Just under 3,280 meals were delivered to 364 Food Hub clients and their family members in August – almost 950 more meals than in July and well over double the 1,550 meals provided in August 2021

We are enormously grateful to all the many people and organisations who donate food to us. Thanks to you, overall since 2013 we have provided 270,000 meals for 30,000 people.

You can bring donations on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings between 9.00am and 12.00midday to our base at Purley United Reformed Church in Purley town centre (next to Purley Hospital). Alternatively you can drop them off at any of our local in-store and roadside collection points listed below. Thank you all.

Council focuses on help with cost of living crisis

Website offers comprehensive guide to support available for struggling residents

13 August 2022
With annual inflation now close to 10 per cent and rising, Croydon Council has just published a comprehensive list of initiatives aimed at helping local residents cope with the cost of living crisis.

The list includes details of help with council tax and benefits that people might be entitled to, as well as help and advice with money and debt, jobs and training. Information about Government schemes is also provided, including a number of measures intended to help with energy bills.

For people facing severe hardship or emergency, including struggling to pay bills or afford food, the Household Support Fund provides one-off support in the form of vouchers, wherever possible, rather than cash grants. It can also help meet basic living costs including utility bills, essential white goods such as cookers and microwaves, and bedding. In extreme cases a discretionary support fund is available.

However, for discretionary support you first have to apply for an interest free Budgeting Loan. To qualify for this you must have been receiving at least one of the following benefits continuously for six months or more: Income Support; Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance; Income-based Employment and Support Allowance; Pension Credit.

Details of local voluntary and community organisations that can offer support are included in the list. Full details of all options are on the Council website here.

* Additional information can be found in the recent Worrying about money leaflet, produced by the Food Hub in association with the Independent Food Aid Network and Croydon Voluntary Action. Click on the image to view or download a copy.

More than 20,000 meals delivered so far in 2022

Food Hub works with referring agencies as we concentrate on emergency support

12 August 2022
A further 2,331 meals were delivered to struggling clients and their family members during July, taking us past 20,000 meals overall in 2022 so far.

Although it was our least busy month since last autumn (2,628 meals last month, 2,394 in May), it reflects that above all we are an emergency food bank. Therefore, generally speaking, after providing four weekly food parcels, we suggest to the referring agency that if the family needs further food support at this time, the agency reviews other possible options with them.

These include using the Olio and Too Good To Go apps providing free or discounted food, and seeing whether their nearest Food Stop has spare capacity for them to obtain around £20 worth of fresh, chilled and frozen food for £3.50 a week.

Also, we ask the agency to double-check with the family that they are receiving all of the benefits that they are entitled to, and know about the local support services detailed in our Worrying about money? leaflet.

We also confirm to the agency that the Croydon Household Support Fund is now open again for applications through the Council’s Discretionary Housing Support Team. This includes emergency supermarket vouchers and emergency gas and electricity top-ups, and help with fridges, fridge freezers and gas or electric cookers.

We conclude however: “May we emphasise that we are not closing the door – if the family are in food crisis again and need our emergency help, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

July 2022

Pasta sauce, soup and biscuits most needed in August

Top Ten items include hot chocolate drinks, sugar, pulses, desserts and tin openers

31 July 2022
Our Top Ten items most needed for Food Hub clients in August include tomato-based pasta sauce, packet soup and savoury & sweet biscuits. Hot chocolate drink requiring only water, small bags of sugar and tinned pulses are also listed, along with tins of dessert fruit and rice pudding.

Completing this month’s items are unisex deodorant…and tin openers. Although many tins today have ring pulls, there are still a lot that don’t, and we find that a big number of our clients don’t have a strong, reliable tin opener.

Louise Willmer, our Stock Controller who also chairs our Management Committee, says: “We continue to be overwhelmed by the generosity of individuals, groups and organisations who support us at a time of year when donations often fall.

“Huge thanks to all our supporters for your continued support, especially with the increased living costs that everyone is experiencing. I know our clients really appreciate the food they receive and the difference it makes to their lives.”

Click here to view this month’s full list.

Please bring donations on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings between 9.00am and 12.00midday to our base at Purley United Reformed Church in Purley town centre (next to Purley Hospital). Or you can drop them off at any of our network of collection points listed here.

Tina, the Morrisons Community Champion, packs a full carload of the green bags ready for delivery to the Food Hub.
Tina, the Morrisons Community Champion, packs a full carload of the green bags ready for delivery to the Food Hub.

Supermarket pick up packs – more reasons to be grateful

Thanks to Morrisons staff and customers for long-term generosity and support

13 July 2022
A special thank you to Morrisons at Five Ways, Croydon, who have been long-standing supporters of the Food Hub, particularly through their ‘pick up packs’ scheme which makes it easier for customers to donate food for local people in crisis.

The green pick up packs are prominently displayed at the entrance, at displays across the store and at the tills, with signs encouraging customers to join Morrisons in supporting local food banks and community groups.

We have our own collection basket at the store which our volunteer Brian empties every Monday, when he also collects a ‘cage’ of donations from the store itself and its customers. Often these include packs of overstocked items or out-of-season goods.

Brian said: “The bulk of the donations are the green pick up packs. These are packed by the staff, under the guidance of Tina, the store’s Community Champion, using our monthly ‘most needed’ food list as a guide.

“Thank you so much to Tina, all the Morrisons staff and management and to the store’s customers. Whichever way they give, they are so generous. I’ve even had people coming up to give donations as I have been loading the car!”

Detail of the Towergate team
Staff of Towergate Insurance Riskline, Croydon

Businesses deliver on commitment to community support

Thank you to Towergate Insurance Riskline and Altera Digital Health

12 July 2022
A big thank-you to the staff of Towergate Insurance Riskline in Croydon and Altera Digital Health in Kenley for their donations this week.

Karina who organised the Towergate collection (pictured) says: “With the ever growing financial pressures everyone’s facing we wanted to find a way to give back to those most in need in our local community.

“Not only were we inspired by the Food Hub being run solely by volunteers, the fact you provide those in financial crisis with food and toiletry packages but also you were providing 60 tins of vegetable soup a week to Croydon Nightwatch to help feed the homeless. It shows the never ending kind hearts this charity operates with.

“We decided to run a five-day collection asking our team to donate £1 or an item from the ‘most needed’ list – as every little donation would help to make a difference to a local member of our community.

“With the aim of raising £200 and collecting 60 tins of vegetable soup, we were overwhelmed with the generosity of those working in the office as well as from home and were able to collect 180 food/toiletry items and, with our donations being matched by our organisation, a fab £931.

“Such a special organisation who continue to go above and beyond for those in most need – it’s just heartbreaking so many families still need this support despite us being in 2022. Keep up the amazing work you do!”

And Linzi from Altera explains: “Altera Digital Health is a global healthcare IT provider, and in the UK we work in partnership with the NHS. I am the volunteer community give back co-ordinator and co-ordinated the donation of groceries to six food banks, including the Food Hub. At our staff day this month we asked staff to donate food, together with a shop supplied by Altera. The staff then portioned out everything to six boxes ready for donation.”

Demand still rising while donations take a downturn

A further 2,600 meals delivered in June, our highest total since March

4 July 2022
Just under 300 hard-pressed clients and family members received food parcels delivered by Food Hub volunteers in June, a total of 2,628 meals.

It was our highest total since March and took us to 18,765 meals provided during the first six months of 2022. It also took us past 265,000 meals overall since we opened in 2013.

At the same time we are noticing a reduction in the number of donations we receive because of all the other demands that people are facing. So we and our clients remain immensely grateful for each and every item that is donated.

The Food Hub continues to support the Purley and St Francis (Monks Hill) Food Stops with fortnightly supplies of food and also meet occasional requests from Fieldway Food Stop, New Addington.

St Francis Food Stop is seeing a steady increase in the number of people needing support, while Purley Food Stop reports that supplies of fresh food from FareShare/Felix are shrinking.

Purley Food Stop is now having to spend around £1,000 per month to buy in meat, fruit and veg from Bookers or Tesco.

Julia Lee, who heads our team of Client Support Volunteers and also works at Purley Food Stop, said: “Clients who were already struggling before the cost of living crisis are now in a very serious state, and we are seeing a number of clients returning to us who had been managing before.

“Most of these clients do not – and cannot – work because of physical or mental health conditions. We also have a number of single mothers who cannot afford the childcare to be able to work. They therefore have no way of supplementing their income and offsetting cost of living increases.”

During June we also had an excellent meeting with our Ticket Partner friends at Purley Job Centre. So far in 2022 the Job Centre has made 230 client referrals to the Food Hub – 28 per cent of our total referrals. We were able to get a better understanding of each other’s ways of working and this can only be for the benefit of our mutual clients.

June 2022

Help us to put meals on the table for people in crisis

Tinned meat meals are top of our list of ‘most wanted’ items for July

29 June 2022
Tinned meat meals, including chicken, ham, hot dogs and meatballs, head our list of items most needed in July for local people and their families struggling to put food on the table during these difficult times.

Tins of dessert fruit and packets of dried instant custard are also highlighted, along with small bottles of squash and packets of sweet biscuits.

Unisex deodorant and shower gel are this month’s most-wanted toiletry items.

We greatly appreciate people’s continued generosity in kindly responding to our monthly appeals amid the cost of living crisis. With your help we have provided 265,000 meals to clients and their families since 2013, and we will go on doing so for as long as we are needed.

Thank you so much! Wing Yip donation is a real cracker

Oriental food store’s £2,500 gift will also help three local food crisis organisations

20 June 2022
Brian Gibbs, a member of the Food Hub’s Management Committee, this week received a cheque for £2,500 from the staff and management of the Wing Yip supermarket on Purley Way, Croydon.

Thanking the staff for their amazingly generous donation, Brian explained that as an emergency food bank we work closely with other local food banks and with the Food Stops which provide longer-term support to families in crisis, and we also use donations to buy in stock when required.

We are glad therefore to share Wing Yip’s donation equally with three of our partner organisations: The Vine Food Bank in New Addington, Purley Food Stop based at Old Lodge Lane Baptist Church, Purley, and St Francis Food Stop in Monks Hill, Selsdon.

Big thanks to everyone at Wing Yip for your generosity in helping local families struggling to put food on the table at this time.

Pictured: Brian and members of the Wing Yip team at the store in Purley Way.

Another 2,400 meals delivered in May as demand increases

More and more people in desperate need as cost of living crisis takes its toll

4 June 2022
Food for a further 2,400 meals was delivered in May to 266 Food Hub clients and family members, taking us past 16,000 meals provided so far this year. That is an increase of just over 400 meals compared to the first five months of 2021.

As always, a huge thank-you to EVERYONE who donates food to us. We continue to support the Purley and St Francis (Monks Hill) Food Stops with fortnightly supplies of food and also meet occasional requests from Fieldway Food Stop, New Addington. We also donate 60 tins of soup each week to Croydon Nightwatch, whose volunteers give out food to up to 100 homeless and vulnerable people every night in Queen’s Gardens.

Julia Lee, who heads our team of Client Support Volunteers, also works at Purley Food Stop. She said: “We are seeing more and more people at the Food Stop in desperate need. In the last three weeks I have talked to four women who are feeding their children but not themselves.

“People on meters for energy are particularly struggling because prices are even higher for them. These are dire times. We are also seeing a number of previous clients of the Food Hub now being referred back to us. This is not surprising – if they were struggling before, things will be worse now.”

May 2022

Vegetable soup is back on our ‘most wanted’ list

Sugar, tea, meat and fish paste needed in June to replenish dwindling stocks

30 May 2022
After an absence of several months, soup is back on our “most wanted” list of items for June – in this case, tinned and packet vegetable soup.

For the past 18 months we have been giving 60 tins each week to Croydon Nightwatch, whose volunteers give out food to homeless and vulnerable people every night in Queen’s Gardens, and this has seriously reduced our stock.

Other food items needed this month are jars of meat & fish paste, small bags of sugar, small packets of tea bags, small/medium tins of potatoes, and tins of dessert rice pudding. The three non-food items especially requested this month are unisex deodorant and shampoo and packs of toilet rolls.

We are so grateful for everyone’s continued generosity. To date, you have helped us provide food for 260,000 meals to hard-pressed clients and their families.

Help is at hand for people with money worries

New leaflet details practical local help for dealing with cost of living crisis

11 May 2022
As the cost of living crisis bites harder and deeper, the Food Hub has linked up with the Independent Food Aid Network, Croydon Voluntary Action and others to produce a leaflet detailing the local support and advice available for people with serious money worries.

The leaflet, entitled Worrying about money?, is a practical guide to help available in Croydon for people struggling to pay soaring household bills, facing serious debt problems or suffering because of difficulties with job income, benefit payments or a sudden change in circumstances.

A copy of the leaflet will be given to each Food Hub client along with their food parcel. Copies will also be handed to clients of the local Food Stops at Old Lodge Lane Baptist Church, Purley; St Francis Church, Monks Hill; and Fieldway, New Addington.

You can view or download the leaflet by clicking here. An interactive step-by-step version is also available. Click here to start.

Volunteers Anne, Charlie and Bhavna
Volunteer driver Anne (left) and daughter Charlie load food parcels into their car with help from despatcher Bhavna.

2,500 meals delivered in April, taking us past 13,500 already this year

Our second-busiest April ever as local Food Stops provide much-needed extra support

5 May 2022
As the result of everyone’s generous donations, we were able to deliver food for 2,556 meals for 284 clients and family members facing hardship in Purley, South Croydon, Coulsdon and Waddon last month.

It was our second busiest April since the Food Hub started in 2013, and took us past 13,500 meals provided in the first four months of the year.

During the month we continued to direct some of our longer-term clients on to Purley and Monks Hill Food Stops as their situations improved. There, clients are able to select £20-plus of fresh, chilled and frozen food for £3.50 a week.

Ticket partners who refer clients to us understand that we are an emergency food bank working at capacity with high demand.

We normally expect to deliver up to four food parcels to clients, though in cases of extreme hardship we do not insist on this limit.

Each parcel contains non-perishable food for three meals a day for three days for each person in the household.

Clients who are referred to Food Stops also get free help and advice about the benefits they are entitled to, as well as information about other places where they can go for free or discounted food.

April 2022

Breakfast items head our Top 12 Most Wanted list in May

Cereals, sugar and whole milk needed – along with honey, tinned food and toiletries

29 April 2022
500g packets of breakfast cereals and bags of sugar are at the top of the list of items that we need most for Food Hub clients and their families in May, along with cartons of long life whole milk for clients’ children.

Also listed are small jars of honey and tins of ham and chicken, tins of peas and carrots and tinned rice pudding.

This month’s non-food items most needed are unisex deodorant, adults’ and children’s toothpaste and washing powder tablets.

We are grateful for every single donation received, big and small. Please bring them on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings to our base at Purley United Reformed Church in Purley town centre (next to Purley Hospital), or you can drop them off at any of our shop and roadside collection points – see accompanying image.

Thank you everyone for your massive support – since 2013 you have helped us to provide 260,000 meals to hard-pressed clients and their families.

Thank you Shayan, family and friends – you’re all superstars!

Shayan (back row, red top) and fellow triathletes

Young triathletes target £500 sponsorship for the Food Hub – and raise nearly £2,000!

24 April 2022
Twenty-five young triathletes, aged four to 13, swam, cycled and ran their way to raise almost £2,000 for the Food Hub on Easter Saturday.

The event was organised by nine-year-old Shayan after his solo triathlon last year; this time he invited family and friends to join him. The children were in three teams, with each team swimming a total of 1.5km, cycling 40km and running 10km. The swimming was at Caterham School and the cycling and running at Kenley Aerodrome.

Shayan said afterwards: “Everyone did amazingly well and we had a fun and tiring day in the sunshine. Our target was £500 – but in the end we raised a tremendous £1,955. I want to thank all the people who took part, everyone who helped make the triathlon happen and everyone who sponsored us.”

Dad Ravi added: “We had an amazing day. The kids were really up for the challenge and had smiles on their faces throughout the day. The weather was fantastic and we’re so happy that we’ve been able to raise money for such a fab cause.”

In the photos, (above) Shayan is at the back, centre, wearing a red top, next to his sister Anaiya, and (below) he is in the centre wearing a red helmet and black top.

Shayan and friends on bikes Apr2022

Special Easter parcel delivery from Yodel Mitcham

Welcome consignment of boxes of chocolate eggs and tinned food

18 April 2022
Parcel carrier Yodel’s Mitcham depot made a special delivery to the Food Hub on Easter Saturday with their own donation of boxes of Easter eggs and tinned food.

Declan Connolly, the lead team manager, says: “We are delighted to have a team of staff who have got on board with our donations to the Food Hub. We are so pleased to support the work the organisation does within the local community and will continue to do so.”

‘Give a Little Love’ gives a big boost to the Food Hub

Thank you to community support scheme at Waitrose Coulsdon

14 April 2022
Our team of food-parcel packers and despatchers were delighted to receive a cheque from Waitrose Coulsdon at the start of their Food Hub session last Saturday (9th April).

The cheque was for £666.00 through the store’s “Give a Little Love” community support scheme. Thank you very much, Sarah, Louise and colleagues at Waitrose Coulsdon.

Pictured with the cheque are (left to right) Food Hub volunteers Sally, Claire, Steve, Bridget and Bhavna.

Cracking news! Chocolate eggs abound in Easter donations

Grateful thanks to AIG Croydon and Caridon Property for topical donations

12 April 2022
No putting all their eggs in one basket by the Claims Team at insurance firm AIG’s Croydon office – they kindly donated three boxes of Easter eggs, delivered by senior claims adjuster Karen (left) and her colleague Lucy.

In the background is Louise, our egg-stremely grateful Stock Controller.

More Easter eggs and other food items made up a carload of donations collected by our volunteer Phil from Croydon-based Caridon Property. Big thanks to housing benefit manager Susan and her generous Caridon colleagues.

Volunteers Rachael, Trish and Simon
Volunteers Rachael, Trish and Simon prepare a delivery of food to a family of eight at the end of March
Below: Gilbert, 15, loads food parcels into mum Annabel’s car

Tribute to all our volunteers who help local people in crisis

Big thanks to the many unsung heroes who work quietly behind the scenes

8 April 2022
A special thank you this month to our dedicated team of volunteers, such as those who turn up week by week on a Monday morning to sort and date-label every tin, packet, jar and bottle that is donated.

They also refill our shelves ready for the packing and delivery of the clients’ food parcels on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The Food Hub is blessed with more than 100 volunteers who fulfil a variety of roles. “Of these we have an average of around 15 volunteers who come in each Monday,” says Louise Willmer, our Stock Controller and Acting Chair of the Management Committee. “They carry out an essential part of the work of the Food Hub to ensure our clients receive food that is always in date and in good condition.”

We have also a team of 26 drivers and 10 escorts who deliver food parcels to clients in Purley, Coulsdon, South Croydon and Waddon, plus a large team of volunteers who cover the twice-weekly sessions to pack and despatch the food parcels.

We are so grateful to all our volunteers, each and every one!

Eggsellent effort as Scout groups pack bagfuls of goodies

Easter eggs galore – and a table overflowing with donations

3 April 2022
19th Purley Scout Group Leader Liz O’Brien delivered a huge clutch of 80 Easter eggs for the Food Hub’s clients and their families, all donated by the Group based in Dunmail Drive, Sanderstead.

More goodies were also donated by the 17th Purley Cubs, attached to St John’s Church, Old Coulsdon. The Cubs filled a complete table with their donations for the Food Hub.

Parents brought further bagfuls after the photo was taken as they arrived to take their children home at the end of the evening.

More UK food banks than McDonald’s and Domino’s combined

Conference highlights growing pressure on people struggling to get by

2 April 2022
As one of nearly 1,200 independent food banks across the UK, Purley Food Hub is affiliated to the Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN), which offers a range of advice and support.

Currently IFAN is helping the Food Hub and others to produce a leaflet detailing the support available in Croydon for people worried about having not enough money for rent and energy costs, etc.

Julia Lee, who heads up Purley Food Hub’s team of Client Support Volunteers, recently attended an IFAN members online conference via Zoom, where she learned that:

  • There are now more food banks in the UK than McDonald’s and Domino’s added together * see footnote
  • Earlsfield Food Bank said a 14-year-old boy recently fainted outside their premises – it turned out he had not eaten for several days
  • Generally attendees said they are seeing higher demand and lower levels of donations
  • Clients are returning more frequently and some people who had not been for several years are coming back
  • People are coming who have never used a food bank before, and who used to donate to the food bank but now need help
  • The quality and quantity of food available from FareShare has dropped significantly
  • Household Support Fund grants exclude people who are not online

*  Latest available totals are (click links for more info):

UK food banks (includes Trussell Trust & independents but NOT Salvation Army, schools, universities & hospitals)2,565+
McDonald’s1,358
Domino’s1,144

March 2022

Jam today and jam tomorrow – items most needed in April

Jam, honey, tinned tomatoes, dried potato and soup head this month’s most wanted list

30 March 2022
Big thanks to everyone who generously donated items to the Food Hub in March – you enabled us to deliver food for 3,564 meals to 396 hard-pressed clients and family members, making it our second busiest March since we opened nine years ago.

In addition, we were able to pass on supplies of food to the three local food stops operating at Old Lodge Lane Baptist Church, Purley; St Francis Church, Monks Hill, Selsdon; and the Family Centre in Fieldway, New Addington.

In April, we are particularly looking for donations of small jars of jam and honey, tinned tomatoes, small packets of dried potato and tinned and packet soup. Small bottles of squash are also on our Top Ten most needed list, together with puddings/jellies/Angel Delight and tinned rice pudding. Non-food items requested are unisex shampoo and washing powder tablets.

Donations can be brought to us at Purley United Reformed Church (next to Purley Hospital) on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings between 9.00am – 12.00midday, or they can be left at any of our in-store or roadside collections points. Full details here.

New collection point at Cumnor House School for Girls

Jam, honey, tinned tomatoes, dried potato and soup head this month’s most wanted list

9 March 2022
We have a new yellow bin collection point at Cumnor House School for Girls in Woodcote Lane, Purley – available for donations Monday to Friday 8.00am – 4.00pm during term time.

Our picture below shows girls from Reception class who helped their teacher Nicola Mearkle to empty the bin and load the items into her car to be delivered to the Food Hub today (Wednesday 9 March).

Thank you very much, Cumnor House Girls and your families and staff! A big thank you also to CCMA who provide the yellow bins for people to drop off food donations to the Food Hub. We now have a grand total of 20 of these at collection points in Purley and Kenley, South Croydon, Sanderstead, Coulsdon and Wallington.

CUMNOR-HOUSE-GIRLS-yellow-bin-mar2022
Click on the image to view or download the full booklet.

Join us in day of prayer for the work of the Food Hub

March 9 date is part of this year’s Lenten project by Croydon Churches Forum

2 March 2022 
Each year Croydon Churches Forum produces the Transform Croydon prayer booklet which features a different ministry or service each day for the 40 days of Lent.

The Food Hub is one of two projects run by Churches Together in Purley and Kenley which are featured in the 2022 edition, with a day of prayer devoted to each. The second is the Renew 23 Wellbeing Café based at Purley Baptist Church.

Prayers for the Food Hub are asked for Wednesday 9th March, while prayers for Renew 23 are requested on Thursday 7th April. The booklet describes the work of these and other local organisations and also suggests specific points for prayer.

For the Food Hub, please pray for:

  • Our struggling clients and their difficult, often harrowing circumstances.
  • Opportunities to talk about our faith and to see people coming to know Jesus. This is not always easy when we have to keep our distance.
  • Continuing support through food and financial donations and our volunteer force, giving thanks to God for His mighty provision.
  • Our Client Support Volunteers who can signpost clients to organisations for extra help, and for our partner organisations, especially the Purley and St Francis Food Stops.

February 2022

Long life whole milk again tops our ‘most needed’ list

Milk, plain meat and dried potato among items most needed in March

28 February 2022
Once again long life whole milk tops our list of food and other items most needed for struggling clients and their families in March.

Tins of plain meat – ham, spam and chicken – and small packets of dried potato are also listed, along with packet custard, chocolate drink needing hot water and small bottles of squash. Non-food items we especially need this month are size 5 nappies and baby wipes, unisex deodorant and small washing up liquid. Click here to view this month’s full list.

As always, donations can be brought any Monday, Wednesday or Friday morning between 9.00am – 12.00midday to Purley United Reformed Church in Brighton Road (next to Purley Hospital) or dropped off one of our in-store and roadside collection points. Full details here.

We are so grateful for everyone’s continuing generosity – it means that since 2013 we have been able to provide more than 250,000 meals to local people going through a time of crisis.

Community team come up with a crate way to help

Thank you to Purley Inner Wheel and residents around Lordsbury Field, Wallington

22 February 2022
Denise McGrath, accompanied by grandchildren Ashton aged six and four-year-old Iris, delivered over three crates full of items donated by members of Purley Inner Wheel and local residents around the Food Hub’s collection point at 9 Lordsbury Field. Receiving the donations is Food Hub volunteer Salli.

Thank you to everyone who provided and delivered the donations (and to grandad Eddie who drove and took the photo!)

Get help if you’re struggling to make ends meet

Apply to Croydon Council for a Household Support Fund grant – but you’ll need to act fast

10 February 2022
Are you desperately struggling to pay the bills and put food on the table? If so you may be able to claim short-term emergency help from Croydon Council.

The Household Support Fund provides grants for people in urgent financial need to pay for food, gas, electricity and other essentials including beds and white goods. You can apply in your own name or on behalf of someone else.

To qualify you must be a Croydon resident, over 16 years of age, in urgent financial need and unable to get support elsewhere.

Full details of the scheme, including an application form to download, are on the Croydon Council website here. You will need to act promptly because the fund closes on March 31, or earlier if all the money available has been allocated.

500 clients and family members supported in January

Food Hub resources at full stretch as partner organisations help share the load

4 February 2022
In total in January we delivered food for 501 clients and family members, making it our second busiest January on record with 4,509 meals provided.

The Food Hub of course is an emergency food bank for clients in immediate food crisis and in recent weeks we have been at pretty well full stretch meeting very high need, mainly caused by rising food and energy prices, with proposed National Insurance increases looming.

As a result, a number of longer-term clients whose circumstances have begun to improve have been encouraged and supported to move on to their nearest Food Stop – at Old Lodge Lane Baptist Church, Purley, or St Francis Church, Monks Hill, Selsdon.

Clients don’t need to be ‘referred’ to go to a Food Stop, open on Fridays, where they are able to choose the fresh and frozen food they need at the time – around £20 worth for a payment of £3.50.

For some clients in financial difficulty, we can give them pre-paid return bus tickets, and arrange that they can shop free until they start work or their Universal Credit or other benefit kicks in. Purley Food Stop – which is currently serving over 70 clients each Friday – also has a free clothes stall.

We are able to supply both Food Stops with excess stocks of some items donated, and our Client Support Volunteers also operate at Purley Food Stop, for example helping clients to apply for one-off payments from Croydon Council’s Household Support Fund for food, electricity/gas or household goods.

A special thank you to all our anonymous donors

Mystery friends make a huge difference – and that’s no secret

2 February 2022
We always try to acknowledge every donation we receive – from individuals, families, schools, churches, businesses and community organisations alike.

At the Food Hub store at Purley URC we have a donations sheet for supporters to sign when they drop off food and money so that we can send a message of thanks afterwards. We also send out thank-you certificates for churches, schools, uniformed groups and others to pin up on their noticeboards.

However, there are some donors we can’t write to. There are a sizeable number of friends of the Food Hub who come regularly with donations but prefer not to sign our sheet and remain anonymous.

For example, last week one of our volunteers was on duty inside the Food Hub when the door bell rang. She said: “There was a frail elderly lady leaning against the door. She gave me an envelope and went on her way. Inside was £100 cash for the Food Hub. This wasn’t her first visit, as she had also come on a Monday before.”

So a big thank you to our mystery donor – and to all our anonymous friends. Each and every tin, jar, packet, bottle and cash contribution goes to help local people in crisis who are desperately struggling to get by.

We are hugely grateful to EVERYONE who donates food and money – anonymously or not!

January 2022

Volunteer with mask in store room with milk carton
Food List February 2022

Magnficent response to our urgent milk appeal

Long life milk still tops our February priority list, plus meat and fish paste, dried potato, custard and rice pudding

31 January 2022
Thank you to everyone who responded so massively to our urgent appeal in January for long life whole milk, sugar, peanut butter, tinned meat meals and packet soup.

At the time we were giving out more than 150 cartons of milk a week and our stocks were severely depleted. But the response was magnificent and immediate, with 579 milk cartons donated by January 31. There were big donations too of the other items that we urgently needed.

Continued high client demand means that long life whole milk, jars of peanut butter and tins of non-spicy meat meals feature prominently again in our Top Ten priority items needed in February.

During the month you helped us provide food for over 4,500 meals delivered to hard-pressed clients and their families – our second busiest January on record, when we also passed 250,000 meals overall since 2013.

Milk continues to top our most-wanted list in February, together with peanut butter and non-spicy tinned meat meals. Our Top Ten priorities also include jars of meat & fish paste, packets of dried potato, small bottles of squash, tinned/packet custard and tinned rice pudding. Non-food items most needed are unisex deodorant and small washing up liquid.

Donations can be brought please to Purley United Reformed Church (next to Purley Hospital) on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings 9.00am – 12.00midday. In addition they can be left at any of our in-store or roadside collection points in Purley, South Croydon and Coulsdon – full details on the map below.

arrow graphic

Meals total passes the quarter-million mark

A huge thank you to all our donors and volunteers as the Food Hub reaches another major landmark

22 January 2022
Food parcels were delivered for 77 clients and family members today (Saturday 22nd January)…with the near-700 meals provided taking us past 250,000 meals since the Food Hub opened exactly nine years and one week ago in January 2013.

To date, food has been provided to 3,650 clients a combined 11,700 times, for a total of 27,854 people. At three meals a day for three days for each person, that’s equivalent to 250,686 meals.

Once more we thank everyone who donates food to us, and all of the many volunteers involved in sorting donations, restocking our shelves, packing the food parcels and delivering them to our clients across Purley, South Croydon and Coulsdon.

Giselle and her donation

Giselle, 9, fundraises, buys food and drops it off – all by lunchtime

What a star supporter – and big thanks to all the family!

16 January 2022
When Giselle, aged 9, woke up on Saturday morning, she had just one thought in mind: to fundraise and buy food for the Food Hub.

She set up a shop at home and sold some snacks, a DVD and some stationery to her Mum, Dad and sister and raised £4.50. Then she went online to find out what food we need this month and went with Mum to Coulsdon Aldi and bought two peanut butter, two packet soup, two tins of meatballs and two washing up liquid – a total of £4.48!

To round it all off, Giselle dropped the items off in the yellow bin in Mead Way – all by lunchtime.

“We donate regularly to the Food Hub and her school, New Valley Primary, has collections, but today it was Giselle’s idea,” said Mum Hannah. “I am so proud of her.”

Thank you so much, Giselle – you are our January ⭐Star⭐ Supporter! Thanks too for the photos – a brilliant all-round effort!

milk cartons and sugar graphic
Food List January 2022

URGENT APPEAL – can you help please?

Long life milk in very short supply – also sugar, peanut butter, tinned meat meals and packet soup

15 January 2022
Calling all supporters – we urgently need more LONG LIFE WHOLE MILK. Due to vastly increased demand, we are currently giving out more than 150 cartons of milk a week and our stocks are heavily depleted.

We are also very low on other items on our January priority list, including small bags of sugar, jars of peanut butter, tinned meat meals (non-spicy please – we have plenty of tins of curry and chilli) and packet soup.

If you can help, please bring donations to Purley United Reformed Church (next to Purley Hospital) on Saturday, Monday or Wednesday mornings between 10.00am and 12.00noon. Thank you so much.

December 2021

Croydon Ambulance Service donation dec2021
Caroline from Croydon Borough Ambulance Service loading donations with a colleague at Croydon Ambulance Station...
croydon ambulance donation dec2021
...then delivering the donations to volunteer Brian at the Food Hub stores at Purley United Reformed Church

More than 5,000 meals delivered in December – the highest monthly figure since we opened in 2013

Thurs 30/12/21

Our busiest ever pre-Christmas session on 22nd December was followed by our busiest ever post-Christmas session yesterday (Weds 29th Dec).

During another five-hour session, the team of 24 volunteers packed, despatched and delivered food parcels for 133 clients and family members. At three meals a day for three days for each person, that’s 1,197 meals.

It means that in these two sessions alone we provided a total of 2,421 meals, nearly twice last year’s corresponding 1,251 meals. It took our December total of meals to 5,184 – our most in any single month in the eight years since the Food Hub was launched in January 2013. It also took 2021’s overall total of meals provided to more than 33,500.

Once again, we gratefully acknowledge the contribution of each and every one of our 150 volunteers and each and every donation received from our ever-growing band of supporters.

19TH PURLEY RIDDLESDOWN SCOUTS dec 2021
19th Purley (Riddlesdown) Scout Group delivering their donations (from left) - Jack, Beaver aged 6; Josh, Cub aged 10; Lola, Scout aged 11; and Liz, Group Scout Leader
Sonia Brice, Assistant Head of Carshalton High School for Girls Year 9, delivered boxes decorated by students with Christmas gifts and messages inside

Our busiest ever pre-Christmas session!

Thurs 23/12/21

We had our busiest ever pre-Christmas session at the Food Hub on Wednesday 22nd December.

In the course of a double session lasting more than five hours, our team of volunteers packed and delivered food parcels for 136 clients and family members across the south of the borough – a grand total of 1,224 meals.

Huge thanks to EVERYONE involved…and a special thank you to our unbelievably generous supporters who brought us a mountain of donations in November and December – festive treats and vital, everyday basics alike.

A brief selection of your donations is pictured alongside and below.

Thank you one and all!

Yodel Mitcham, longstanding supporters of the Food Hub, came up trumps again with a special Christmas 2021 delivery
Marshall Coulsdon Audi organised a collection in the run-up to Christmas
A trolleyload of festive goodies donated by customers at Sainsbury's Local Purley

Help us provide festive support for local people in crisis

Thurs 9/12/21

This year Purley Food Hub and our parent organisation, Churches Together in Purley and Kenley, will again be actively supporting the local community at Christmas.

Last year’s delivery of vouchers, in place of the Christmas Lunch on Jesus hampers, was very well received and, due to the current uncertain circumstances, we will once again be giving Aldi supermarket vouchers to 100 local families so that they can purchase the ingredients for a Christmas meal. 

The vouchers cannot be used for alcohol, the lottery or tobacco and are intended for those who may not be able to afford a traditional Christmas meal. Accompanying the vouchers will be some booklets with a Christian message.

Our traditional Toys for Joy scheme is also suspended for this year. Instead we will be fundraising for local children’s centres. 

We are looking to raise £7,500 for these projects so if you would like to contribute you can donate online via give.net and specify ‘Christmas Projects’ in the reference box.

If you prefer to send a cheque, please make this payable to ‘Purley Food Hub’ and write ‘Christmas Projects’ on the reverse. Send to Joanna Walker, Treasurer, Purley Food Hub, c/o Purley Baptist Church, Banstead Road, CR8 3EA.

If you would like to help deliver the vouchers to clients in December or if you have any questions please contact our Administrator Jean Ludlow by email at christmasprojects@pfoodhub.org.uk

As always, a massive thank you to all our supporters and donors. Your generosity makes such a difference to local families in crisis, especially at this time of year. Merry Christmas one and all!

Diya with (from left) dad Tush, mum Shinali, grandmother Urmila (daughter of Shantabaa), auntie Jigna and uncle Romi.

Amazing feat of the family who ran and walked 5,000 miles

Thurs 2/12/21

Among the huge number of donations received by the Food Hub in November was £250 of food and essentials delivered by seven-year-old Diya and her family.

Diya, who with brother Aaryan, 10, goes to Beaumont Primary School, Purley, said: “Along with Aaryan, I helped to raise this money in memory of my great-grandmother Shantabaa who sadly passed away in November 2020.

“My family and I set ourselves a challenge to walk or run 5,144 miles in 83 days and raise money for various charities and good causes including food banks. We chose Purley Food Hub for the amazing work you do and to help support our local community.”

Diya’s mum Shinali added: “Shantabaa’s family in the UK consists of nearly 70 family members of whom 30 of us took part in the challenge to walk the 5,144 miles – the exact distance between her house in London to her village in India, where she desperately wanted to go before she passed away but never got the chance. As a family we decided we would walk the distance before her birthday, hence the odd number of days.

“In total we raised £10,000, and the money was split over various charities that were close to Shantabaa, including Newham General Hospital, British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK and COVID relief fund in India. We also donated £3,000 across various food banks in London, Essex, Surrey and Kent, including Purley Food Hub.”

Thank you so much Diya, Aaryan, Shinali and the rest of your wonderful family!

Volunteers Hannah, Emily and Amanda with some of your recent donations

Donations galore! It's a November to remember

Thurs 2/12/21

Huge thanks to all our donors, supporters and friends who contributed to an absolutely amazing amount of food donations received from groups and organisations, schools, churches and individuals in November.

You helped us to provide nearly 2,000 meals to 220 clients and family members during the month. We also supplied food to the Purley and Monks Hill Food Stops as well as to Croydon Nightwatch and The Link.

Among a host of generous donations were those from uniformed groups such as Beavers, Cubs and Scouts and Rainbows, Brownies and Guides, and also from organisations like Rotary (Coulsdon Manor, Purley and Sanderstead & Selsdon), WI (Kenley Flyers and Old Coulsdon Cupcakes) and Purley Inner Wheel. Others included Croydon Churches Forum, Croydon Communities Consortium, Caridon Property and Purley BID.

Collection points at local supermarkets need regular emptying, so thank you to those who place donations in these baskets and the individuals who bring the food (often a full car load!) to us, often on a weekly basis.

Collection points include Morrisons Five Ways, Croydon, Sainsbury’s Warlingham, Waitrose Sanderstead and Morrisons and Waitrose in Caterham. There are also 19 yellow wheelie bins across South Croydon, Sanderstead, Purley and Coulsdon provided by Croydon Covid-19 Mutual Aid as part of their One Tin Bin Initiative. A special thank you to those people who host the bins and bring the donations to the Food Hub.

This Christmas may be particularly difficult for many of our clients, with rising energy and food prices and the recent loss of the Universal Credit uplift. So, as always, on behalf of our clients and their families we are very thankful indeed for every donation we receive. Your continued support is massively appreciated and makes a real difference to local people in crisis.

Welcome visitors: the group from Harris Primary Academy, Kenley
Youngsters from 16th Purley Beavers, Sanderstead
Pupils from St Aidan’s Catholic Primary School, Coulsdon, with their bumper delivery

Young visitors take a peek behind the scenes

Weds 1/12/21

Three groups of youngsters delivered an array of donations to the Food Hub at the end of November – and took the opportunity to enjoy a tour of our stores at Purley United Reformed Church and learn about how their contributions provide vital help to hard-pressed families.

Children from Harris Primary Academy, Kenley, delivered their food collection on the 24th and were keen to hear what happens to the food that people donate and how items are sorted, stored, then packed into parcels and delivered to clients’ homes.

The following day the 16th Purley Beavers colony, linked to All Saints Church, Sanderstead, visited us with more donations as part of their series of learning about ways to help the community.

Then on 29th November pupils from St Aidan’s Catholic Primary School in Coulsdon popped in with an amazing assortment of around 50 bags of donations before stopping for a quick photoshoot.

We really appreciate all your help and your interest, guys – hope you enjoyed your visit!

November 2021

Children’s treats make it a Christmas food list of two halves

Fri 26/11/21

Our December list of items most needed for our clients is a list of two halves. 

The first part features six of our regular requests: cartons of long life whole milk, tins of chicken, ham & corned beef, packets of dried potato, tins of peas & carrots, tinned dessert fruit, and tinned or packet custard.

The second part focuses on four Christmas items especially for our clients’ children:

  • Christmas treats of chocolates/sweets
  • Alternative desserts to Christmas pudding
  • Biscuits – sweet or savoury
  • Christmas crackers

The idea for splitting the list to prioritise clients’ children came after one of our children’s Nursery supporters asked for a specific area of donations to concentrate on this Christmas.

“We thought it was a really good idea, so we have adopted it more generally for this month’s list,” says Louise Willmer, Acting Chair of the Management Committee. “I hope our donors and supporters may consider selecting one of these Christmas items as part of their donation.”

Purley Way store increases donations at the double

Weds 10/11/21

Big thanks to Morrisons customers and staff at Five Ways, Croydon.

What started out as a fortnightly collection of donations in October has already become weekly in November – pictured here is the first weekly collection made by our volunteer Brian on Monday (8th November).

The previous week Brian collected four full trolleyloads of donations – and twice while he was loading his car, shoppers gave him donations there and then!

October 2021

Vegetarian meals, dried potato and toddlers’ microwave meals most wanted in November

Weds 27/10/21

November’s list of priority items required for hard-pressed clients of the Food Hub is headed by vegetarian meals, packets of dried potato and microwaveable meals for toddlers.

Also listed are packets of soup and tinned or packet custard, along with tin openers for new clients, unisex shampoo and toilet rolls.

Please bring donations to Purley United Reformed Church (next to Purley Hospital) on Monday mornings between 9.00am and 12.00noon if possible, otherwise on Wednesday or Saturday mornings. Donations can also be left at any of our in-store or roadside collection points in Purley, South Croydon and Coulsdon.

Thank you to everyone for your overwhelming generosity. Since 2013 you have helped us provide close to 240,000 meals to clients and their families in food crisis.

What a magnificent Harvest response!

Mon 25/10/21

We have received the most magnificent number of food donations from schools, churches and many others this Harvest half term!

As a result, as well as being able to deliver hundreds upon hundreds of food parcels to our own struggling clients, we have been able also to supply food to the Purley and Monks Hill Food Stops, attended by many of our previously longer-term clients. On Saturday we were also able for the first time to provide 25 bags of items to the Fieldway Food Stop in New Addington.

We are so amazingly grateful to EVERYONE who has given us food, however much or little – every single item is important to us. We are truly very thankful for each can, packet, jar and bottle that we have been given.

In addition to all the other churches, schools and others we have already acknowledged here, thank you also to:

  • St Giles School, South Croydon
  • Birdhurst Nursery, South Croydon
  • St Mark’s and St Swithun’s Churches, Purley
Year 5 pupils at Laleham Lea School with part of this year's donation
Cumnor House Girls' collection delivered by Head Girl Tien, Deputy Head Girl Ashanya and Charities Prefect Ishi
Food Hub Trustee Revd Fiona Weaver with St David's School's collection
Warlingham Park School's donation at the Harvest service at All Saints Church, Warlingham
Keston Primary School's donation received at the Food Hub

Harvest food collections go into overdrive

Weds 20/10/21

Further generous food Harvest food collections have been pledged and/or received from local schools, nurseries and churches in the past two weeks.

Twenty three more schools, nurseries and churches have recently pledged donations. Adding in the 16 previously announced, the total number of Harvest deliveries and pledges now stands at 39.

Karen Barry, Head Teacher of Laleham Lea School, a longstanding supporter of the Food Hub, said: “We are delighted to help again this year and I would like to thank all of our families and staff for their generosity.

“Helping those in need is a key part of our Catholic ethos and we hope that this donation helps with the fantastic work the Food Hub does locally.”

The 23 most recent donors are:

SCHOOLS: Keston Primary, Old Coulsdon; St Nicholas, Purley; Harris Primary Academy Haling Park, South Croydon; Beaumont Primary, Purley; Foresters Primary, Wallington; Laleham Lea, Purley; St Peter’s Primary, South Croydon; Park Hill Infants, Croydon; Kenley Primary; Gresham Primary, South Croydon; Coulsdon C of E Primary.

NURSERIES: Number 9 The Nursery, South Croydon; Lemon Tree Montessori, Sanderstead.

CHURCHES: Purley United Reformed; Croham Road Baptist, South Croydon; St Mary Magdalene with St Martin, Addiscombe; St Mary’s, Sanderstead; St John’s, Old Coulsdon; St Margaret of Scotland Catholic, Carshalton Beeches; Old Coulsdon Congregational; St Augustine’s South Croydon; Grace Vineyard, Purley; Coulsdon Methodist.

Chair of Trustees Trevor Jones welcomes guests to the Food Hub's 2021 AGM
Ivanka
Fiona
Lisa
Louise Willmer
Louise
Louise Willmer thanks Purley URC for their vital support during lockdown.
Our Annual Report was published just before the AGM. Click the image to view or download.

Annual Meeting hears how the Food Hub rose to the challenges of lockdown

Tues 12/10/21

Pandemic-defying donors, supporters and volunteers were warmly thanked by Trevor Jones, Chair of Trustees, at the Food Hub’s AGM on 5th October.

“After such a difficult 18 months, we have much to thank you for so that Covid never stopped us delivering food to those in need,” he said.

Trevor also thanked retiring Trustee Ivanka Lennon for her abiding passion and care for hard-pressed clients and their families, and welcomed two new Trustees, Revd Fiona Weaver, Vicar of St Mark’s and St Swithun’s Churches Purley, and Revd Lisa Fairman-Brown, Curate at Christ Church Purley.

Louise Willmer, Acting Chair of the Management Committee, expressed thanks to the Minister, Revd Russell Furley-Smith, and congregation of Purley United Reformed Church for use of the building throughout the pandemic to sort the mountains of food donated to the Food Hub and to pack the food parcels.

“We are also privileged to be able to share our food with the Purley and Monks Hill Food Stops, Nightwatch and The Link,” she said, adding that there were no immediate plans to change the current operation of delivering food direct to clients’ homes.

During the meeting there were also presentations by Julia Lee, our Client Support Volunteer; Pastor Nick Graves of the Purley Food Stop; and Sarah Burns from the co-ordinating support organisation Croydon Voluntary Action.

Short videos of each speaker at the AGM are available on our new Youtube channel here.

Big thanks to Woldingham School for a fantastic Harvest collection...

School and church Harvest donations arrive at the Food Hub

Fri 8/10/21

School Harvest food collections have now begun to be received at our base at Purley United Reformed Church – including large donations from Woldingham School and The Hayes Primary School, Kenley. In addition, five more church collections have arrived from: Sanderstead United Reformed; St Peter’s, South Croydon; Emmanuel, South Croydon; Whitethorn Methodist, Coulsdon, and St Andrew’s, Coulsdon.

Thank you all, we are so grateful for your support and for further Harvest donations in the pipeline.

...and to the pupils, parents, teachers and staff at The Hayes Primary School, Kenley.

September 2021

Jam, breakfast cereals and whole milk top October’s ‘most wanted’ list

Weds 29/9/21

Jars of raspberry and strawberry jam and small packets of breakfast cereals join cartons of long life whole milk at the top of the list of items needed most for Food Hub clients in October.

Tinned fish (particularly tuna) and dessert fruit and small jars of spicy pasta sauce are the other food items especially needed at this time. Unisex deodorant and female sanitary pads complete October’s list.

As always, donations can be brought to us at Purley United Reformed Church on Monday mornings from 9.00am – 12.00noon, otherwise on Wednesday or Saturday mornings. We also have more than two dozen in-store or roadside collection points where donations can be left.

We thank all of the Food Hub’s supporters for your continued generosity. Since 2013, you have kindly helped us to provide nearly 240,000 meals to struggling clients and their families.

First schools pledge their Harvest food collections

Tues 28/9/21

Nine schools and a children’s day nursery have already contacted the Food Hub to say they are donating their Harvest food collections to us this autumn. They are:

  • Woldingham School
  • Oasis Academy Byron, Coulsdon
  • The Hayes Primary, Kenley
  • Cumnor House Girls, Purley
  • Whitgift School, South Croydon
  • Harris Primary Academy, Kenley
  • Regina Coeli Catholic Primary, South Croydon
  • St David’s, Purley
  • Warlingham Park School
  • Little Apples Day Nursery, South Croydon

A BIG THANK YOU, ONE AND ALL!

As we begin the busy run-in towards Christmas, we warmly welcome food donations from schools, churches, businesses, organisations and others. For more information please contact Jean, our Administrator, by email at purleyfoodhub@gmail.com or by phone on 07546 635295.

Last year's Harvest contribution from Foresters Primary School, Wallington

Harvest food collections warmly welcomed again this year!

Tues 14/9/21

Every Autumn since the Food Hub started in 2013 we have been delighted to receive a bumper crop of Harvest food collections from schools, churches, businesses and other organisations.

These are very welcome as we begin the busy run-in towards Christmas. Last year nearly 30 schools and churches donated their Harvest collections to us…and again this autumn we will gratefully welcome all such donations of tins, jars and packets of long life, non-perishable food (unfortunately we cannot accept fresh items).

Our September list of most-needed items is available here, and October’s listing will be posted around 28th September. Donations can be brought to Purley United Reformed Church, next to Purley Hospital, preferably on Monday mornings from 9.00am to 12.00noon or else on Wednesday or Saturday mornings 10.00am-12.00noon.

If you are head of a school/college or a teacher or student, please contact Jean, our Administrator, by email to purleyfoodhub@gmail.com or phone 07546 635295. Thank you very much. 

Our Annual Report has just been published. Click the image to view or download.

Come and help shape our future direction

Sun 12/9/21

All the Food Hub’s friends, supporters and volunteers are warmly invited to our Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 5th October, 7.15 for 7.30pm, at Christ Church Purley (between 861 & 863 Brighton Road, opposite the Rotary Field).

Guest speakers will include Pastor Nick Graves, who runs Purley Food Stop at Old Lodge Lane Baptist Church, Julia Lee, the Food Hub’s Client Support Volunteer and Sarah Burns, Head of Communities with Croydon Voluntary Action.

Ahead of the AGM, the Food Hub’s Annual Report has just been released. Its main item is the report from Food Hub Chair Trevor Jones, who addresses the issue of our future direction as pandemic restrictions are lifted. Supporting this are reports by the Trustees and Management Committee Acting Chair Louise Willmer.

Also featured are highlights of the past year’s activities in words, pictures and numbers, a round-up of new ways in working by our volunteers and supporters, an insight into the vital role of our Client Support Volunteer, and the annual financial statement.

August 2021

Milk, meat paste and dried potatoes head up September’s most-needed list

Tues 31/8/21

The eight priority items for donations to the Food Hub in September are led by cartons of long life milk, jars of meat paste & fish paste and packets of dried potatoes, along with jars of pasta sauce, tinned rice pudding and chocolate treats for children. Also listed are unisex shower gel…and more tin openers please!

Donations can be brought to Purley United Reformed Church (next to Purley Hospital) on Monday mornings ideally, or else on Wednesday or Saturdays mornings.

Thank you everyone for your continued generosity and support.

Second highest ever July total for meals delivered

Sun 1/8/21

In July we were able to deliver food for 2,619 meals to nearly 300 clients and family members in Purley, South Croydon, Coulsdon and Waddon – our second highest July total.

An agency which referred one of these clients to us has emailed to say: “[He] is still in food crisis. His stroke continues to affect his day to day mobility and he has a number of other ongoing medical issues. He recently had local council funding cut and at the moment the weekly food delivery is a LIFELINE for him.”

So a big thank you to everyone who kindly responded to our July appeal for food donations. As a result we not only had a good supply for our own clients but were again able to support our partner organisations, in particular Purley Food Stop at Old Lodge Lane Baptist Church, which is currently experiencing issues with sourcing long life food due to the national shortage of haulage drivers. We were also able to support Monks Hill Food Stop at St Francis Church, Selsdon. 

Some of our previous clients have moved on to there as their circumstances have improved and they are now able to afford the £3.50 a week fee for food worth up to £20.

Considering it is now holiday time, donations are keeping up well, so it is good that we are able to pass on any surplus to the Food Stops and also to Croydon Nightwatch.

The Food Hub has long supported Nightwatch, whose volunteers are out each night in Queen’s Gardens in central Croydon giving food and assistance to homeless and other vulnerable people. Our weekly donation of 60 tins of soup and 12 bags of pasta provides enough for two of their seven nights.

As always, huge thanks to ALL of our loyal donors: churches, schools, small shops and superstores, a whole host of community organisations, and of course many individuals and families. Your generosity makes all the difference.

July 2021

Squash & juice, tea & coffee, jam & honey head August’s most-wanted list

Weds 28/7/21

Thank you so much to everyone who kindly responded to our July appeal for food donations.

As a result we not only had a good supply for our own clients but were also able to support Purley Food Stop at Old Lodge Lane Baptist Church, currently being very heavily used while still experiencing difficulty sourcing long life food to supplement the fresh and frozen food it offers.

Items we especially need during August please for hard-pressed clients and their families include small bottles of squash, cartons of long life fruit juice, small packets/boxes of tea bags, small jars of coffee, jars of jam and honey, and tinned meals suitable for vegetarians.

Also on our August most-wanted list are toddlers’ microwaveable meals and snacks, tinned and packet custard, unisex deodorant…and tin openers.
We are very grateful for your continued loyal support and generosity.

Donations can be brought to Purley United Reformed Church on Monday mornings between 9.00am and 12.00noon, or left at any of our other collection points.

Pure Gym Purley manager Stephen (left) with Raul, one of the personal trainers

Raising the bar! New food collection point at local gym

Mon 26/7/21

Thank you to the management and staff at Pure Gym Purley in the Royal Oak Centre, Brighton Road, for offering to host one of our collection points for food donations.

The collection basket is available daily to receive donations from the 1,500 members who use the gym on average in a 24-hour period. Local residents and other donors can also leave items at the gym (press the “Assistance” button on the door).

For a full list of all our local collection points please visit the Supporting the Food Hub page.

Thank you to school where giving is a key to progress

Tues 20/7/21

Thank you to the Year 8 pupils at Woodcote High School in Coulsdon for your food donations which 8W Form Tutor Nadia El-Laibi kindly brought to us.

“At Woodcote High, every year the Year 8s take part in a number of activities, one of them being Charity. They have to complete and pass all the activities in order to move onto Year 9. Giving to the Food Hub is a way we encourage the pupils to take part in the activities.”

 

Top marks all round for Haling Park primary school

Mon 19/7/21

We are very grateful to the children, staff and families of Harris Primary Academy Haling Park, South Croydon, for their huge collection of food delivered to us last week by Rob Hyneman, Head of Academy.

“It was an absolute pleasure to collect for the Food Hub, and hopefully we can do a similar collection next year,” said Mr Hyneman.

Very good neighbours collect a car-ful of food

Thurs 15/7/21

Residents in the Purley neighbourhood community of Woodcote Park Avenue, Verulam Avenue, Newton Road, Walburton Road and Hillcroft Avenue got together to hold a food collection for the Food Hub…and their generosity resulted in Pete and Nichola Robertson delivering a car full of items to us.

Pete (pictured) said: “Claire Bignell, a volunteer with the Food Hub, is part of our community and she suggested we organise the collection. It is a great opportunity to support an amazing local charity that makes a real difference to people’s lives and we will be intending to support the Food Hub on an ongoing basis.”

Thank you, very good neighbours!

July’s donations will also help our Food Stop partners

Thurs 1/7/21

As a result of the current haulage drivers shortage, our two Food Stop partners in Purley and Selsdon have had their long life food supplies seriously reduced.

They have asked us for supplies to help them over this period, and this is reflected in our July food list.

The list includes long life whole milk, tins of corned beef, chicken and tuna, packets of savoury biscuits, tinned tomatoes and jars of pasta sauce and curry sauce. Also listed are children’s chocolate treats, packets of microwave rice and tinned rice pudding, as well as unisex shampoo and small washing up liquid.

Thank you very much indeed for your generosity, especially at this difficult time for Purley and Selsdon Food Stops.

June 2021

Thank you for supporting us when shopping online

Mon 28/6/21

A big thank you to everyone who has signed up to our online shopping fundraising partners EasyFundraising and Amazon Smile. We have recently been notified that purchases made through Amazon Smile netted £31.81 in the latest quarter for the Food Hub, bringing our total through EasyFundraising and Amazon Smile to £121.23.

This income has been raised at no cost to our donors since it represents a percentage of the cost of people’s online purchases via the relevant websites.

If you shop on Amazon, you can support the Food Hub at the same time with no cost to yourself. You first have to set up an account at smile.amazon.co.uk – please note this is not the same as amazon.co.uk. Only purchases made through smile.amazon.co.uk are eligible.

Once you are logged in, type “purley food hub” (without quote marks) in the search box and follow the prompts. You can then shop on the Amazon site as normal. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price (excluding VAT, returns and shipping fees) of eligible purchases to the Food Hub.

EasyFundraising.org.uk, the UK’s biggest charity shopping site, is also a great cost-free way of supporting the Food Hub.
You have to sign up first, then when you are shopping online, instead of going directly to a retailer’s site, you log in to easyfundraising’s Purley Food Hub page first.

You then search for a retailer in the Search box at the top of the screen. If they’re listed, click on the link to visit their site and carry on shopping. The Food Hub will receive a donation based on what you spend.

  • You can also donate to the Food Hub via give.net, part of the Stewardship charity support organisation, or direct from your bank account. Full details are on our Donate page. A special thank you to you if you already use one of these methods – your ongoing support is hugely appreciated.

Food collection point set up at RBS branch in North End, Croydon

Fri 25/6/21

Staff at the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Croydon branch at 117-119 North End have kindly set up a collection point for people to bring donations for the Food Hub.

Pictured left to right are staff members Roxie, Marie and Sameer. Roxie, a personal banker at the branch, says: “There is no denying how difficult life has become for so many since the pandemic. Many of us take for granted the food we eat daily, but for some, going hungry is what they have become accustomed to.

“At RBS Croydon we are keen to reach out to the community and support the Food Hub. We know that by setting up a collection point here the help can be immediate for people in need. While our actions are small, we hope the gesture has far-reaching impact.”

Thank you Roxie and branch manager Peter and your team – we greatly appreciate your support.

School’s Pyjama Day charity effort works like a dream

Tues 15/6/21

Pictured left to right, Cumnor House Girls’ charity prefect Loveleen, deputy head girl Aleena and head girl Anoushka accompanied headmistress Amanda McShane to deliver a minibus full of food and other items to the Food Hub on Wednesday 9th June.

Their trip was the result of their latest charity day just before half term when in return for wearing pyjamas for the day, the 106 pupils brought in donations for the Food Hub.

Loveleen wrote afterwards: “The whole school came together and made an enormous effort in collecting all of these things from the pyjama day. It was truly amazing to see our whole stage filled with bags full of tins of meat and fruit, bags of sugar, tea bags, coffee, cup a soups, nappies and so much more. Our Cumnor families had been so generous.

“When we arrived at the Food Hub, we unloaded the minibus and unpacked all the bags into different categorised boxes and a volunteer explained to us how they deliver all of the food parcels to the people in need.

“It was good to see our Cumnor family donating to this cause and I hope we will be able to continue to help our local community. Remember, every person can make a difference!”

Second busiest May ever as we look to relax pandemic restrictions

Weds 9/6/21

Last month’s 2,655 meals delivered to nearly 300 Food Hub clients and their families made it our second busiest May to date (after the 4,590 meals in May last year in the first Covid-19 lockdown).

It means that so far in 2021 we have delivered 15,600 meals to struggling families, compared with 21,600 at this stage in 2020 and 11,700 in 2019.

Meanwhile, deliveries of food parcels to clients’ homes will continue for the foreseeable future, to be reviewed later this year with a possible return to food collections by clients in early 2022. The next step in our journey back to pre-pandemic operations will be to move the food stocks and distribution process from the rooms at the back of Purley United Reformed Church into the Sanctuary again, hopefully in July.

To help with this transition, from now on donations can be brought to Purley URC on Monday mornings between 9.00am-12.00noon.

During these hours we have our full team of sorters on duty, instead of on Wednesdays and Saturdays as at present. However, donations will still be accepted if deliveries on these days can’t be avoided.

We continue to thank everyone hugely for their kind generosity in supporting the Food Hub’s work. We are most grateful for each donation we receive – of our volunteers’ time and effort, and our supporters’ donations of food and money. Every hour, tin and pound really make a difference.

Above: Shayan receives his certificate. Below: pictures from his sponsored triathlon which raised over £2,000

Thank you Shayan – and he’s already planning a fundraising follow-up!

Sun 6/6/21

We were delighted to welcome eight-year-old Shayan to the Food Hub yesterday (Saturday), along with his sister Anaiya, aged six, and dad Ravi, who kindly took the photos here.

Shayan raised just over £2,000 for us from his sponsored triathlon in the Easter school holiday, swimming 1500m, cycling 40km and running 10km.

During yesterday’s tour of the Food Hub, he and his Anaiya were able to put the finishing touches to a few of the food parcels being packed for delivery to clients during the morning, and we presented Shayan with our thank-you certificate for his money-raising feat.

He told us he is already planning another fundraiser with his friends for next Easter…!

May 2021

June food list reflects increase in referrals of families with babies

Mon 31/5/21

Our number of clients with very young children has sadly increased recently and this is reflected in our June food list which includes jars of food for babies aged 7 months and 10 months and baby wipes.

Other items requested are small jars of coffee, small tins of plain meat such as corned beef and chicken, long life whole milk, tinned carrots & sweetcorn and jellies & tinned dessert puddings.

Two further non-food items listed are washing powder tablets/pods and small bottles of washing up liquid.

Thank you so much everyone for your continued support.

Unexpected item from the bagging area

Mon 24/5/21

Our grateful thanks to everyone at the Wing Yip Croydon store in Purley Way for a donation of £2,000 received last week.

We are delighted to share this very generous contribution with three other local organisations who also provide food to people going through tough times:

  • The Vine food bank in New Addington
  • Purley Food Stop at Old Lodge Lane Baptist Church, and
  • St Francis Food Stop in Monks Hill, Selsdon.

“We are glad the money will be helping people that really need it,” said Heather Swindlehurst of Wing Yip. The money came from the sale of plastic carrier bags in the store.

Huge slice of thanks to Sudesh!

Mon 24/5/21

We extend our warm thanks to Sudesh Patel, owner of Londis Coulsdon at 229 Chipstead Valley Road, for his wonderful support during the Covid-19 pandemic.

For just over a year from April 2020, Sudesh and his team kept us supplied us with bread for our clients every Wednesday morning either free of charge or at low cost.

Thank you very much for your kindness, Sudesh and staff, we really appreciate it. We continue to have a collection basket at the store for donations to be left.

Purley Catenians present £900 cheque to Food Hub

Weds 19/5/21

Trevor Jones, Chair of Purley Food Hub, recently received a cheque for £900 from Mike Fisher (pictured on left) and Sean Sogeler from Purley Catenian Circle.

The Catenians is an organisation of Catholic men who meet socially and from time to time raise money for local good causes. The Purley group is made up of men who mainly worship at St John the Baptist Church, Dale Road.

Mike, the outgoing President, says: “Because of the Covid pandemic, our social activities have been severely curtailed but as a result we have saved a tidy sum of money! And so we would like to donate £900 to the Food Hub.”

Thank you Catenians for your generosity.

Croydon Families’ nearly new sale earns £105 for Food Hub

Mon 10/5/21

Local organisation Croydon Families runs nearly new sales for families to sell on maternity, baby and children’s clothes and other items they no longer need, to enable others to pick up good-quality brands at a fraction of the cost.

They have kindly donated to the Food Hub £105 from the door entry at their sale on May 1st at St Paul’s United Reformed Church, South Croydon.

Thank you for your support, Croydon Families!

Total number of meals delivered drops again in April

Fri 7/5/21

April’s total of 1,962 meals delivered to clients and family members was the first time since September 2019 that the monthly figure has dipped below 2,000.

The number of meals provided by the Food Hub has now fallen for three months in a row as we see a shift in the way people are accessing the food help they need. 

As we noted last month, a number of our longer-term clients are no longer being referred to us because their situations have improved, or they are receiving extra support to help them manage. Other clients have been encouraged to move on to one of our local Food Stops:

  • Old Lodge Lane Baptist Church, Purley
  • St Francis Church, Monks Hill
  • Parchmore Methodist Church, Thornton Heath.

At a Food Stop, clients can choose up to £20 of food for £3.50 a week, as well as get help with the kind of problems that are often linked to food poverty. 

We work closely with the Food Stops and other local organisations and are glad to be able to give them food as requested.

In the year ended 31st March, of the 92,000 items donated to the Food Hub we redistributed 7,200 to the Food Stops and others, including The Link drop-in centre for the homeless in Croydon, Croydon Nightwatch and Thomas More School, Purley, who provided pop-up food banks for Christmas and Easter.

This collaboration is exactly how we want things to work – the Food Hub acting as an emergency food bank helping people for the short term, while the Food Stops and our partner agencies help people in need to become more independent over the longer term.

In all this, one thing has not changed. Every tin, packet, jar, bottle or box kindly donated to the Food Hub goes to someone in crisis in the local area. Each item makes a real difference, and we and our clients are hugely grateful to each and every donor for their generosity and support.

Boot-iful food-raising by the Beavers!

Tues 4/5/21

Fifteen children from the 29th Purley Woodland Beavers – part of the Scout group at Purley Baptist Church – have completed a sponsored mini marathon for the Food Hub.

At the suggestion of the Beaver Scout Leader (BSL) Sheila, instead of asking their families and friends for money donations, the youngsters asked for items from our food list…and ended up more than filling the boot of Sheila’s car!

Her fellow BSL Kirsten said: “The children did between 15 and 26 laps each of half of a football pitch at Coulsdon Common. They over-filled Sheila’s car boot with food donations, which she delivered to the Food Hub the following day, and we may have more to come this week.”

Thank you Sheila and Kirsten and the 29th Purley Beavers. Here’s a little token of our appreciation!

Big thanks for £350 donation of toiletries

Mon 3/5/21

A big thank-you for a donation to the Food Hub of £350 worth of toiletry items, arranged by a local GP and pharmacy.

Valley Pharmacy in Chipstead Valley Road, Coulsdon, runs a Covid-19 vaccination centre at St Aidan’s Church Hall with the help of local volunteers. “The vaccinators themselves are professionals but many of them also want to do it as unpaid volunteers,” says Amish Patel, Superintendent Pharmacist at Valley Pharmacy, part of Infohealth Ltd.

One of the vaccinators, Purley GP Ashik Patel, offers his services on his day off and made it clear to Amish from the start that he wanted to do it strictly on an unpaid basis and give his fees to charity.

Amish says: “I thought hard about which charity to support and then it occurred to me to support Purley Food Hub” – and Ashik readily agreed.

Ashik’s fees to date come to £350 – and this week our volunteer driver Eddie collected boxes of deodorants, soap, toothpaste and shower gel from Valley Pharmacy…to the value of £350.

So, thank you to Ashik for donating your fees, and to Amish for thinking of the Food Hub. In addition, Amish and his staff support the Food Hub with a separate monthly donation of toiletries.

April 2021

Rice, fish, pulses and fruit top list of food items needed in May

Thurs 29/4/21

Microwaveable packets of rice and tins of fish, pulses and fruit head up the items we need most for Food Hub clients in May.

Long life whole milk is also on the list, together with bars of soap and unisex deodorant…and, for the first time, disinfectant sprays and wipes for clients living in multi-occupancy homes and sharing facilities.

Donations can be brought to us at Purley United Reformed Church on Wednesday and Saturday mornings or to around 20 other collection points in South Croydon, Sanderstead, Purley and Coulsdon. Thank you everyone – our clients are so grateful for your support at this time.

Sporting superstar Shayan raises £2,000

Weds 28/4/21

Food parcels were delivered for 46 clients and family members on Saturday…taking us past 25,000 people fed and 225,000 meals provided since our launch in 2013.

To date, food has been provided to 3,452 clients on a combined total of 10,582 occasions, serving 25,019 people. At three meals a day for three days for each person, it’s equivalent to 225,171 meals.

To enable this to happen, we once again thank everyone who donates food to us, and all our many volunteers involved in sorting donations, packing the food parcels and delivering them to our clients across Purley, Coulsdon and South Croydon.

 

We pass latest landmark of 25,000 people fed

Mon 12/4/21

Food parcels were delivered for 46 clients and family members on Saturday…taking us past 25,000 people fed and 225,000 meals provided since our launch in 2013.

To date, food has been provided to 3,452 clients on a combined total of 10,582 occasions, serving 25,019 people. At three meals a day for three days for each person, it’s equivalent to 225,171 meals.

To enable this to happen, we once again thank everyone who donates food to us, and all our many volunteers involved in sorting donations, packing the food parcels and delivering them to our clients across Purley, Coulsdon and South Croydon.

Inspired by Rashford, Shayan goes for goal

Weds 7/4/21

Our newest – and youngest – supporter is eight-year-old Shayan, a pupil at St David’s School, Purley. Inspired by footballer Marcus Rashford’s campaign to help schoolchildren going without enough to eat, he is raising money for the Food Hub by doing his own Olympic-style triathlon.

Over his Easter school holiday Shayan has pledged to undertake an ambitious and gruelling programme of swimming, cycling and distance running.

He said: “While watching the Marcus Rashford TV documentary about children going hungry, I was inspired by him and I wanted to do something to help those who don’t have enough to eat. Talking to my mum and dad about the Tokyo Summer Olympics made me think of doing a triathlon.

“Over 10 days I will swim 1500m, cycle 40km and run 10km. The money raised will go to Purley Food Hub as they do an amazing job feeding the community. Please donate as much as you can. It will make a big difference to people’s lives.”

Thank you so much, Shayan. Welcome to the team!

Further details are on Shayan’s fundraising page here.

Pressure eases in March but demand remains high

Weds 7/4/21

The number of meals delivered to Food Hub clients and their families reduced again in March to 2,889. Nevertheless it was still our second busiest March since we began in 2013, behind March last year when 5,067 meals (our highest-ever monthly total) were provided at the start of the first Covid-19 lockdown.

March 2021’s total takes to just over 11,000 the number of meals already delivered so far this year.

Part of the reduction is due to a number of our long-term clients successfully moving on to become more food independent – for example, going to Old Lodge Lane Baptist Church’s Food Stop where they can buy up to £20 of fresh food a week for £3.50. 

Many are also getting help from our referring agencies to address the underlying issues which have forced them to seek our support.

This is how it should be, since we are an emergency food bank helping people in dire need for the short term. However, the need for our services unfortunately continues and is likely to do so for the foreseeable future.

We continue to be amazed and delighted by the generosity of our magnificent volunteers, donors and supporters for each and every donation of time, food and money that we receive. THANK YOU ALL!

March 2021

Coffee, milk, ready meals and potatoes top April’s most-needed list

Mon 29/3/21

Eight items, headed by small jars of coffee and cartons of long life whole milk, feature in our most-needed list for clients in April.

Tinned ready meals and packet and tinned potatoes are also listed, along with tinned dessert fruit and cartons of long life fruit juice. Non-food items requested are toilet rolls and toothpaste.

Donations can be brought to Purley United Reformed Church or any of our other collection points.

Thank you everyone for your continuing support – you have enabled us to provide nearly 225,000 meals since 2013.

 

In memory of Food Hub veteran Derek Harris

Weds 17/3/21

The funeral service for Derek Harris, one of the Food Hub’s most active workers, who died on 17th February, will be held on Monday, 22nd March, at 11am.

Derek and his wife Helen were founder members of Purley Food Hub in 2013. Derek made a huge contribution to our work over the years and fulfilled many roles, most recently as Treasurer and a member of the Board of Trustees. Please remember Helen and the family in your prayers at this time.

In lieu of flowers in Derek’s memory the family have chosen two charities close to his heart: International Needs and Marie Curie. You can donate by going to the respective JustGiving pages

Arrangements have been made for the service to be live-streamed on the internet. If you would like to view the webcast, please send us an email and we will send you the web link and sign-in details.

 

February is the quietest month – and another record-breaker

Tues 2/3/21

After an extremely busy December and January, the number of meals delivered by the Food Hub fell by almost a quarter in February. The total was 3,501, compared to 4,644 in each of the previous two months.

The dip was not unexpected – February has been quieter than January every year since 2015. In fact it is normally our quietest month of the year. Nevertheless 2021 was still our busiest February ever, with nearly 100 more meals delivered compared to 2020, and 73% more than in 2019.

It is also significant that nine of our top ten busiest-ever months have occurred in the past year, so the overall trend is still decisively upwards. If March 2020 (5,067 meals) is any indication we can expect a lively few weeks ahead.

Behind the statistics lie real human stories, and one testimonial received this month from a client gives a good illustration of this:

“I want to take this opportunity to thank the entire Purley Food Hub team, as we really appreciate your kind support during this difficult time. I cannot express how much it has helped me to recover from my struggle as a single Mum with four kids and no access to public funding. Hope that I will find a way to thank you all one day. Thank you all for what you do for us.”

We couldn’t meet this need without our superb army of volunteers and supporters. Local neighbourhood and social media initiatives are becoming increasingly popular. We now have 16 yellow One Tin bins collecting supplies as well as dedicated trolleys in shops and supermarkets. Thanks once again to Croydon Covid-19 Mutual Aid for providing the bins, and to everyone hosting them and contributing items.

Current collection points are listed at the top of this item. Donations can also be delivered on Wednesday and Saturday mornings to Purley United Reformed Church – the door is at the end of the roadway along the left side of the church building from Brighton Road. Thank you so much for your support.

February 2021

Derek Harris

Sat 27/2/21

It is with great sadness that we report that Derek Harris, one of the Food Hub’s most active and faithful servants, passed away in the early hours of 17th February.

Derek, together with his wife Helen, was a founder member of Purley Food Hub in 2013.

Over the years he served in many different roles, most recently as Treasurer. He also served on the Food Hub Board of Trustees, stepping down at last October’s AGM.

He will be greatly missed by us all and our thoughts and prayers are with Helen and the family.

Honey honey, sugar sugar …

Weds 24/2/21

Our list of Most Needed Items in March is headed by jars of honey and small (500g) bags of sugar. We are also in need of small jars of coffee, as well as jars of fish paste, tins of pulses (e.g kidney beans and chickpeas) and tinned potatoes. Custard (packets & tinned), jellies, toilet rolls and bars of soap complete the list.

Items can be taken to Purley United Reformed Church in Brighton Road on Wednesdays and Saturdays or left at one of our many neighbourhood collection points.

Thank you very much for your support.

Georgia delivers food and toiletries to the Food Hub. Below: One of several carloads of supplies donated by Georgia's friends and family.

Georgia’s ‘cup of coffee’ appeal delivers goodies galore

Fri 19/2/21

We’re often told that the pandemic means that we have to find new ways of doing things. One enterprising young Food Hub supporter has taken that message to heart – with spectacular results.

Georgia, 23, lives in Sanderstead and currently works at Purley Tesco. Using the power of social media she appealed for cash contributions from family and friends.

Her appeal was so successful that over consecutive Wednesdays in January and February Georgia and her dad did three major food shops, using our regular monthly list of Most Needed Items as a guide. Result: multiple carloads of food and toiletries delivered to the Food Hub and the prospect of more to come.

Georgia said: “I kept seeing stories about the huge rise in the demand for food banks during the pandemic, and with lockdown it’s unlikely that many people can get out and donate as they might normally do.

“So I thought it would be a lot easier for people to send me money directly and I could shop on their behalf and donate the items to the Food Hub. I promoted my idea on my Instagram page and Whatsapp group chats with a suggested donation of £3, the price of a cup of coffee.

“I was overwhelmed with the generosity of my lovely friends and family and raised a total of £420. I did think about donating the money directly but decided I would enjoy it much more if I was able to choose the items myself and see what the money was going towards, and also send pictures of what we bought to those who had donated.

“Hopefully my efforts encourage others in the future to do the same, as it’s so important to support the local community. One of my friends did the same in her local area in Buckinghamshire after seeing the success I had with donations, and she raised over £800! I look forward to doing lots more collections like this in the future.”

Our heartfelt thanks to Georgia and her family and friends. Thank you all very much indeed.

Volunteer Stephen (left) with Eddie and Denise and (below) their carload of donations

Donations loaded and delivered by the carload!

Sun 14/2/21

Among the donations brought to the Food Hub yesterday (Saturday) was a carload of bags delivered by Eddie and wife Denise and received by volunteer Stephen.

The donations came from the neighbours of Eddie (also a Food Hub volunteer) and Denise who had dropped off the items at our latest collection point at their home in Lordship Field, Wallington, as well as from Denise’s colleagues in Purley Inner Wheel and from new supporter Sheelagh in Caterham Drive, Old Coulsdon.

Thank you all.

Thanks for items dropped off at Paul Meakin

Thurs 11/2/21

Adelle from Paul Meakin estate agents kindly delivered this trolleyload of donations to us yesterday (Wednesday). 

The firm’s three South Croydon branches are now all collection points for local people, clients and staff to drop off their donations for the Food Hub.

Our current list of food Collection Points - click to enlarge

Busier than ever – January figures set new records

Mon 1/2/21

2021 has got off to the busiest of starts, with 4,644 meals provided in January to 516 clients and family members.

That’s 1,065 more meals than in the same month last year, making it the busiest January since we began in 2013. Coincidentally, January’s total was the same as December’s, making the past two months our joint third busiest overall.

One grateful client sent this message via Instagram: “Thank you so much for delivering to me and my family yesterday, you are all so kind and your work is so valuable. If you ever need an extra pair of hands, please let me know and I will be happy to help in any way I can. ”

Thanks to the excellent team of volunteers who we are able to call on, we aren’t in need of extra help at the present time for sorting, packing and delivering food. Instead, we are asking new enquirers to consider organising a food collection among family, friends and neighbours.

Road collections among neighbours are a great source of food donations for us, including in Furze Lane and Purley Bury Avenue, Purley; Redford Road, Coulsdon; Cumberlands, Kenley; and newcomers Farmdale Road, Carshalton.

And we are delighted that there are now 14 locations in South Croydon, Sanderstead, Coulsdon and Purley where supporters are kindly hosting wheelie bin collection points for local people to drop off food donations (see map above). The distinctive yellow bins are generously provided as part of the One Tin initiative organised by Croydon Covid-19 Mutual Aid.

We continue to thank every single one of our volunteers, donors and supporters for your contributions and donations of time, food and money – big and small – and to all of the churches, schools, businesses and organisations which give so generously. THANK YOU EVERYONE!

January 2021

Sugar, hot chocolate drink and peanut butter top February’s most wanted list

Sat 30/1/21

During February small 500g bags of sugar, hot chocolate drink requiring only water and jars of peanut butter and fish paste and meat paste head up the monthly list of items most needed for our clients.

Small bottles of squash and cartons of long life fruit juice are also listed, along with packets of dried potato, tinned fruit and microwavable meals for toddlers aged 1-2 years. Non-food items needed are washing powder tablets/capsules, unisex deodorant and small unisex shampoo.

Thank you everyone for your support.

Yesterday’s donation from neighbours in Cumberlands, Kenley

Cumberlands’ reel good show!

Thurs 28/1/21

Until the pandemic, Food Hub supporter Jill made her food donations each month through Kenley Flyers WI, so last spring when Lockdown 1 put a stop to the Flyers meeting together she had to rethink.

She knew we would be facing increased demand for weekly food parcels and came up with the idea of collecting items from her neighbours in Cumberlands, a cul-de-sac off Kenley Lane. Through the road’s WhatsApp group she asked if anyone would join her family in collecting for the Food Hub and a few households came forward, agreeing on a weekly collection.

So each Monday Jill sends a message to the group reminding them to add a few items to their weekly shopping order and leaves her garage open on Tuesday from 12noon – 9pm to receive the donations. She delivers the bags to the Food Hub on Wednesday morning and follows up with a thank-you message to the residents.

The original few has now grown to 20 of the 49 households, with others donating occasionally. Jill prints off our monthly food list and delivers it with a handwritten note thanking everyone “for your continuing support.” She says, “We are delighted to be able to support families going through such hard times, while at the same time fostering neighbour togetherness.”

The newly-arrived bin at 122 Limpsfield Road.

14 One Tin Bins now collecting for the Food Hub

Sat 23/1/21

We now have a total of FOURTEEN One Tin Bin collection points for supporters’ food donations in South Croydon, Purley, Kenley and Coulsdon – and more big yellow bins are planned to appear at locations around the borough in the near future.

The distinctive yellow wheelie bins have been kindly provided for us by Croydon Covid-10 Mutual Aid (CCMA), and also for some other food banks in the borough. We are very grateful to everyone hosting a bin for us and to Ben and the team at CCMA.

Paul Meakin branches become new collection points

Fri 22/1/21

The three South Croydon branches of Paul Meakin estate agents have become food collection points for the Food Hub where local people can drop off their donations.

“We are happy to be able to help,” says Adelle Gibson, colleague of director Emma Meakin.
 
The branches are at 77-79 Mitchley Avenue, Riddlesdown; 13 Limpsfield Road, Sanderstead; and 216 Addington Road, Selsdon.

Thank you very much, Adelle, Emma and everyone at Paul Meakin – we are delighted to have you on board with us!

 

Some of the donations received in the past week

A very busy start to 2021

Sun 10/1/21

2021 has started as busy for the Food Hub as 2020 ended. So far after our first three sessions in January, we have delivered food parcels for 165 clients and family members. At three meals a day for three days for each person, that’s equivalent to 1,485 meals.

Saturday’s team leader Zivile reported: “The session was very busy indeed. We received lots of donations, they kept streaming in during the entire length of the morning. We also had two cheques – of £350 from Woodmansterne Baptist Church and £50 from an individual – and £30 from someone who didn’t give their name.”

Thank you everyone for your wonderful support continuing into 2021.

‘Life would be so much harder without the Food Hub’

Sat 9/1/21

Residents at a group home in South Croydon have expressed their sincere thanks for the food parcels they have been receiving from the Food Hub. Elizabeth wrote to us:

“My partner and I thank you all so much for your kindness and food parcels. Not only from us but from all the residents here. We all live in shared accommodation in South Croydon owned by a charity.

“We all have varying degrees of mental health issues and physical health issues. Last year my partner had a stroke then a heart attack in November.

“Life would be so much harder for all of us here if it was not for all your wonderful help. So happy new year to you all, God bless you and keep you safe. Thank you x”

New website for a New Year!

Fri 1/1/21

Today (New Year’s Day 2021) we launch our brand new Purley Food Hub website.

The old site has served us well for a number of years but we began receiving feedback that it was no longer user friendly. So, with massive thanks to our web designer Tom, we trust that you – whether client, volunteer, donor or supporter – will find this new site easier to navigate and that it tells you everything you wish to know about supporting and using the Food Hub.

We would be glad to receive your comments about the new site: what works well for you or not so well, and if there’s something missing that we need to add.

Thank you – we look forward to hearing from you! Why not send us a message through our new Contact form?

December 2020

March, April and December 2020 set new records as our three busiest months ever

Thurs 31/12/20

Wednesday’s final session of the year took the total number of meals provided during 2020 to hard-pressed clients and their families to 48,987. This is by far the most in a year since the Food Hub started in 2013 and up 60 per cent on 2019.

December was our third busiest month on record, with 4,644 meals provided to 516 clients and family members – third only to March (5,067 meals) and April (5,022) at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in the spring.

Once more, on behalf of our clients we thank everyone who is involved in any way at all with the work of the Food Hub. None of what we do would be possible without the contribution of every single volunteer, donor and supporter, and our ticket partners too. THANK YOU SO MUCH ONE AND ALL!

Donations on the past two Wednesdays have included (again) from the lovely people who live in Cumberlands, a 49-house cul-de-sac off Kenley Lane, Croydon Communities Consortium and four churches: St Margaret’s Carshalton Beeches, St Mark’s and St Swithun’s Purley and Coulsdon Methodist – as well as from numerous individuals and families.

Long life whole milk, plain meat, honey and jam head January’s most needed items

Mon 28/12/20

Our January food list is headed once again by our staples of long life whole milk, tins of chicken, ham and corned beef, and jars of honey, jam and peanut butter.

Other items our clients need include: 500g packets of breakfast cereals, small bottles of squash and cartons of long life juice, and packet custard needing only water. Unisex shower gel, small unisex shampoo and washing powder tablets/capsules are this month’s non-food items most needed. Thank you all.

Items can be taken to Purley URC or left at one of our collection points. Full details here.

donations 23 dec 2020
Before: Saturday's donations fill the stage at Purley URC
Volunteers selfie dec 2020
After: Thanks guys - our valiant volunteers have it sorted
Sugarlicious cupcakes donation dec2020
Festive treats from Sugarlicious Cupcakes

Tremendous all-round effort sees bumper donations and 900 meals delivered

Thurs 24/12/20

Yesterday (Wednesday) our teams of volunteers packed and delivered food parcels for around 100 clients and family members to their homes in the Purley, Waddon, South Croydon and Coulsdon areas, equivalent to around 900 meals.

Once again, we received a tremendous number of donations from the local community – including baked treats from Purley-based Sugarlicious Cupcakes. In fact, the morning’s donations filled the entire stage of the hall at Purley United Reformed Church, which our afternoon shift of volunteers then kindly stayed behind to sort – hence the happy photo showing a cleared stage!

We wish all our supporters, volunteers and clients a Christmas and New Year of peace and hope.

Another hectic morning with food delivered for 79 people amid a stream of donations

Tues 22/12/20

Saturday morning’s session (19th Dec) was hectic from start to finish, with food for 700-plus meals delivered for 79 clients and family members and a stream of generous donations arriving throughout.

As well as the donations from Waitrose Coulsdon and Yodel Mitcham (see Sun 20/12/20), a carload of food, Christmas fare and toiletries was delivered from Woodcote High School.

There were also donations from Little Apples Day Nursery and numerous individuals and families – in fact, so many that our team had trouble counting them all!

Once again, we say A HEARTFELT THANK-YOU TO YOU ALL.

Thank you Rotary, Women’s Institutes and Inner Wheel

Mon 21/12/20

We gratefully acknowledge the contribution to the work of the Food Hub from organisations such as Rotary, Women’s Institutes and the Inner Wheel.

Locally we receive excellent support from, among others, Coulsdon Manor and Purley Rotary Clubs, Kenley Flyers and Old Coulsdon Cupcakes WIs and Purley Inner Wheel. We regularly receive donations of food and money from them and from individual members, and we have members of Purley and Coulsdon Manor Rotary on our team of volunteers.

During 2020 we have received two generous donations totalling £4,080 from Coulsdon Manor Rotary who say: “We congratulate you all in the ongoing work you undertake to help families in need.”

And we thank you, Coulsdon Manor, and all of the others for helping to make this happen through your continuing support.

Waitrose Coulsdon and Yodel Mitcham deliver food and cheques

Sun 20/12/20

Pictured (top): Sally, Team Manager, and Diane, Sales Assistant, at Waitrose Coulsdon hold up a cheque for the Food Hub for £333, which fellow Sales Assistant (and Food Hub volunteer) Louise delivered to us yesterday along with several large boxes of mince pies, chocolates, cheese straws and shortbreads and three trays of bread and morning pasty goods.

(Below): Declan, Manager, and Jake, Warehouse Operative, (with driver Kris) from Yodel Mitcham presented two boxes of food and a cheque for £450 to yesterday’s session leader Zivile.

Thank you for your continued support and generosity, Waitrose and Yodel.

Hero volunteers come up trumps again with gifts of toys, candles, socks, smellies and books

Tues 15/12/20

Mother and daughter volunteers Salli and Laura have now raised £1,530 for the Food Hub from face coverings – made by Salli and sold by Laura.

Initially they used the money to buy food items that we were short of, more recently they switched to buying a selection of toys, candles, socks, smellies and books to make up Christmas gift bags for our clients. The first of these went out yesterday and more will be going out with the food parcels this Saturday.

We know the clients will appreciate all the love and care that’s gone into the gift bags.

Just getting busier and busier with more donations than ever before

Mon 14/12/20

Saturday morning was another busy session – with food parcels for 45 clients and family members delivered by our team of drivers to homes across Purley, South Croydon and Coulsdon…and another tremendous number of donations received, including well over 50 chocolate selection boxes! Thank you one and all!

As well as lots of individual donations, we also received big amounts of food, toiletries and Christmas fare from among others:

Barclays Bank in North End Croydon, St Peter’s Church South Croydon, St Barnabas Church Purley, Morrison’s Caterham, the One Tin bin in Brian Avenue Sanderstead, a road collection in Purley Bury Avenue, and Croydon Community Mental Health Team for Older Adults and Memory Service.

And thank you too to the staff of Lavender Oaks Care Home in Carshalton. They started off finding they had too many gifts of biscuits and decided to donate these to the Food Hub. Then they began making their own donations…and then there was a car full!

Just one click away – an easy way to donate at Christmas

Sat 12/12/20

If you’re shopping on Amazon this Christmas, you can now support us by adding an item from our December Wishlist to your basket! It just takes a single click on the item you’d like to donate, and it will be delivered to us direct.

Please click here to view our list. It includes corned beef, custard, washing up liquid, toothbrushes and Christmas chocolate selection boxes like in the photo. Thank you already to Judith, Georgina, Fiona and all those who have sent anonymously.

Thank you Gen…and everyone who brings us donations – you are ALL stars!

Mon 7/12/20

Massive thanks to all the many people – individuals and families – who are bringing donations to us on Wednesday and Saturday mornings at Purley United Reformed Church.

One such visitor this week was Gen (pictured) who joyfully donated two bags of shopping on Saturday and then asked the session leader what things we were short of.

He mentioned a few items, thanked her and then carried on with his tasks. He said: “I was pleasantly surprised to see her come back 20 minutes later with two more bags of things I’d asked for. What a star!” Thank you Gen and everyone – you are all stars!!!

Mmm…cakes! And the bake-off stars are…Wallington High School for Girls

Fri 4/12/20

Despite being in lockdown, Wallington High School for Girls launched a virtual charity bake-off competition and sale in the summer…and this week sent the proceeds to the Food Hub.

Head Girl Antara explained: “We wanted to give back to a community who have been doing so much for people during this difficult time.

“We managed to raise £60 for the Food Hub with some really lovely and delicious entries!”

Our pictures show green heart cakes by Bethany, a chocolate cake made by Poppy and a vanilla strawberry cake by Tilly.

Thank you, Wallington Girls!

Churches, schools and ambulance team among those stepping up to the plate

Thurs 3/12/20

We were delighted to receive a large number of donations again yesterday (Wednesday) – including, from left/top:

  • St Margaret’s Church Wallington,
  • Coughlans Purley (with thanks to Branch Manager Blerina who put the bags together and Area Manager Andrea who delivered them), and
  • South Croydon Ambulance Station.

Other donations came from St Peter’s Church South Croydon, Laleham Lea School and the yellow wheelie bin in Heathhurst Road, South Croydon, as well as lots from local families and individuals.

In addition we collected a donation from Aerodrome Primary School in Waddon where some pupils have been doing a project, ’10 Good Deeds’.

Once again, thank you all!

November 2020

Thank you Waitrose Coulsdon and Sainsbury’s Warlingham and Purley…and Brian Avenue!

Mon 30/11/20

Pictured top: Our volunteers Debra, Judy and Emily received a bumper donation from Waitrose Coulsdon on Saturday, including mince pies and toiletries. With the donation came a note from the store’s staff: ‘Giving a little love!’

Sainsbury’s Warlingham and Purley Local stores are promoting donations to the Food Hub again this year through the company’s ‘Help Brighten a Million Christmases’ scheme, inviting customers to donate items in their collection boxes or money through their digital fundraising channels in store and online. Sainsbury’s will match £1 for £1 all donations banked by 14th December.

Pictured below: Young Freya displays some of the 24 Advent calendars that she and her mum Louisa brought among another big donation from a full yellow wheelie bin outside their home in Brian Avenue, Sanderstead, as part of the One Tin Initiative.

Among other donations on Saturday from lots of individuals and families was £80 from a couple who went without leaving their names.

WE ARE MOST GRATEFUL FOR EVERY DONATION, BIG AND SMALL.

Towergate Riskline staff donate £310 worth of food

Fri 27/11/20

Big thanks to the staff of Towergate Riskline Croydon who donated £310 worth of food and other items, which were delivered on Wednesday by Karina, who organised the collection, and Craig.

Other donations received on Wednesday included from Chipstead Valley Primary School, as well as individuals and families.

Christmas biscuits and children’s chocolate treats among December’s requested items

Thu 26/11/20

Cartons of long life whole milk, jars of peanut butter and tins of plain meat including chicken and ham top the list of food items most needed for our clients in December.

Also listed are Christmas biscuits and children’s chocolate treats, along with tinned peas and carrots, tinned dessert fruit rice pudding, and packet custard requiring only water and small packs/boxes of tea bags. The non-food items we most need this month are small washing up liquid and adult toothbrushes.

To see the full list, please click here. THANK YOU VERY MUCH EVERYONE.

High number of food parcels and donations make it another very busy day

Sun 22/11/20
It was another very busy day at the Food Hub yesterday (Saturday). Our team of volunteers packed and delivered food parcels for 73 clients and family members, equivalent to a total of just over 650 meals – the highest number in a single session for several weeks.

They also received a gift of £100 from one donor and a cheque for £200 from another, plus donations of food and other items from, among others, Old Coulsdon Village Store and yellow bin collections in Brian Avenue, Sanderstead, and Purley Bury Avenue, Purley, as well from individuals and families.

Thank you everyone so much.

Food Hub volunteer Revd. Fiona becomes a Food Hub Trustee

Fri 20/11/20

Revd. Fiona Weaver has been co-opted as a Food Hub Trustee for a year to October 2021. She is Vicar of St Mark’s and St Swithun’s Churches Purley and in addition to her pastoral work is a volunteer driver with the Food Hub regularly delivering food parcels to clients’ homes.

Fiona has also had a yellow wheelie installed in St Mark’s for food donations from local people which she helps bring to us at Purley United Reformed Church.

Dannielle brings us donations from the yellow bin at Elmfield Vets

Thu 19/11/20

Dannielle Batten kindly delivered to us yesterday (Wednesday) the tins of food and other items donated in the One Tin Initiative yellow bin that she and husband Ian have installed outside Elmfield Vets in Elmfield Way, South Croydon.

We also received food yesterday from other local bins, including a delivery by Neil Bicknell from Heathhurst Road, Sanderstead.

We now know of at least half a dozen yellow bins that have set up in the Purley, Coulsdon and South Croydon areas inviting people to donate food to the Food Hub. Thank you to everyone involved in this initiative – and to the generous people making the donations.

‘Massive thanks for our fabulous packages’ say grateful family

Sun 15/11/20

A very grateful client sent us the following message after receiving food for herself and her sons yesterday (Saturday):

“Just want to say a Massive THANK YOU from my boys and me for the fabulous packages. We are very very grateful. When our circumstances change I will definitely give back to yourselves and the Community. You guys do an amazing job, truly Guardian Angels.”

And of course we wouldn’t be able to help this family – and many others like them – if it wasn’t for all the generous donations we receive from so many people and organisations in the local community.

A big thank-you to everyone at Coulsdon C of E Primary

Sat 14/11/20

Five-year-old Robbie and his mum Fiona Lee proudly present the multiple bags of Harvest food donated by the children, families and staff at Coulsdon C of E Primary School, which our volunteer Phil collected this morning (Saturday).

Fiona is Deputy Headteacher and Robbie is in Reception at the school. Our big thanks to everyone at Coulsdon.

Warlingham Park School’s Harvest donation filled our volunteer’s car

Thu 12/11/20

Yesterday (Wednesday) we collected the generous Harvest food donation from Warlingham Park School, completely filling the car of our volunteer Wendy.

Other donations received yesterday at Purley United Reformed Church included from St Swithun’s and St Mark’s churches, Monkey Nuts at Chipstead Valley Primary School and The Change Foundation, as well as from local families and individuals.

A huge thank-you to to you all.

A third One Tin bin outside Elmfield Vets in South Croydon

Wed 11/11/20

A third One Tin Initiative yellow bin collecting donations for the Food Hub has been installed outside Elmfield Vets in Elmfield Way, South Croydon, overseen there by Ian and Dannielle Batten.

The bin is available outside the premises for donations during working hours from Monday to Friday and also on Saturday morning from 9.00am to 11.00am.

We are very grateful, Ian and Dannielle.

One Tin bins quickly fill up with local residents’ donations

Mon 9/11/20

The One Tin Initiative, set up by Croydon Covid-19 Mutual Aid, invites local people to donate one tin of food to their local food bank.

Now two of the distinctive One Tin yellow bins have been installed in the south of the borough in support of the Food Hub: in Sanderstead, overseen by Louisa (pictured with daughter Freya); and in Coulsdon, overseen by Ben (pictured below). They brought us their donations on Saturday (7th November).

Louisa explains how she got involved: “My daughter Freya visited the Food Hub with her Cubs group last November and wanted to volunteer, so when Covid arrived, having a One Tin bin seemed a good opportunity.

“We have promoted our bin to neighbours and more recently to the local community in Sanderstead via Facebook groups, WhatsApp and Nextdoor. we’ve had a fantastic response with our bin filling up four times in 10 days and we have been delighted with everyone’s generosity. We plan to drop to the Food Hub every fortnight.”

Thank you ever so much, Louisa and Freya and Ben.

Bootload of food received from Beaumont Primary School

Thu 5/11/20

Thank you to everyone – children, families and staff – at Beaumont Primary School, Purley, for the bootload of food donations delivered to us by Jo Beeson, Finance and HR Officer, yesterday (Wednesday).

And big thanks also for the donations received yesterday from St John’s Church Old Coulsdon and St Margaret’s Carshalton Beeches.

Tinned corned beef & ham, long life whole milk and fish & meat paste top November’s list

Mon 02/11/20 Tins of cooked plain meat such as corned beef and ham, cartons of long life whole milk and jars of fish paste and meat paste head the list of food items most need for our clients and their families in November. Also on our list are tins of rice pudding, tinned vegetables and packets of tea bags. Non-food items needed please are toilet rolls, small bottes of washing up liquid, unisex deodorant, toothpaste and sanitary pads. For the full list, please click here. On behalf of our clients, thank you so much everyone, we are most grateful.

3,636 meals provided to clients and family members in October

Sun 01/11/20
October saw food for 3,636 meals delivered to just over 400 Food Hub clients and family members, taking us past 40,000 meals in 2020 so far – already 10,000 more than in the whole of 2019.

This would not be possible without the tireless efforts of our volunteers or the huge donations of food – and toiletries, baby products, etc – received from churches, schools and the local community, including increased numbers of family and individual donors. Thank you ALL.

October 2020

‘What the Food Hub has managed to do is amazing…’

Sat 31/10/20
During October we wrote to our Ticket Partners – the agencies who refer clients to us – confirming that for the foreseeable future we will be continuing to deliver food parcels direct to clients’ homes rather than clients come to us, as they did before Covid-19. Several Ticket Partners wrote back to express their gratitude:

“What the Food Hub has managed to do is amazing, I am sure the volunteers are a welcome sight to those in need when they see them” …

“All the referrals I have made so far have given me good feedback and appreciate your support” …

“It is amazing you are still managing to do home deliveries – it is so important right now” …

“Well done for all that the team do – such a blessing to the community” …

“A massive thank you to the team for providing such a fantastic service.”

Food Hub to receive £333 from Waitrose Coulsdon’s Community Matters

Thu 29/10/20
Waitrose Coulsdon has chosen the Food Hub to be one of three local charities that will each receive £333 in the store’s Community Matters scheme for November. Thank you, Waitrose.

Croydon’s NEU teaching and support staff donate £1,000

Wed 28/10/20
The National Education Union’s Croydon District – which represents teachers and support staff across all education settings in the borough – has generously donated £1,000 to the Food Hub.

This is on top of a £500 donation in June. Dave Harvey, the treasurer, writes: “Our members are daily aware of the impact of food hunger on children’s concentration in lessons and on their engagement generally at school. Our donation is to support the really vital work that the Food Hub is doing in the community.”

Thank you very much, Croydon NEU.

More than 20 donations brought in yesterday – we are grateful for each one

Sun 25/10/20

Thank you so much to the 20 or more people who kindly brought in food donations to the Food Hub yesterday morning (Saturday). They included Theresa Paull (left in photo), Deputy Head of St Aidan’s Catholic Primary School, Coulsdon, who delivered the school’s Harvest collection, received by our volunteers Laura and Eddie.

Yesterday’s donations will be sorted and date-labelled by our two sorting teams on Monday ready for packing into food parcels to be delivered to clients on Wednesday. We remain thankful for each and every donation we receive – every item goes to a client and family in need at this time.

Churches’ and schools’ Harvest gifts are welcome boost to our food stocks

Sat 24/10/20
Harvest food donations from local schools and churches are a welcome source of items for the food parcels we provide for hard-pressed clients and their families.

The schools are featured in other items on this page, and the churches include: St Mary Magdalene with St Martin, Addiscombe; Coulsdon Methodist; St Mark’s, Woodcote, and St Swithun’s, Purley; St James’, Riddlesdown; Christ Church, Purley; St Paul’s United Reformed Church, South Croydon; Old Coulsdon Congregational; St Augustine’s, South Croydon; and Whitehorn Avenue Methodist, Coulsdon. Thank you every one!

Mufti day at Regina Coeli raises £198 for Food Hub and for Macmillan

Fri 23/10/20
Normally in the week before half term Regina Coeli Catholic Primary School, South Croydon, holds its Harvest Mass and the children, families and staff collect food donations for the Food Hub.

But due to Covid-19 it wasn’t able to do so this year and instead had a mufti day for the children who paid £1 each. The money raised has been divided between ourselves and Macmillan Cancer Support, as the school was also unable to hold its Macmillan coffee morning. Thank you very much Regina Coeli for our £198.47 – we greatly appreciate your support.

Foresters children and families display considerable generosity

Thu 22/10/20
Karen Derrick emailed us today from Foresters Primary School, Wallington: “As you can see from the above photo, we have received many kind donations from our children and their families. We could not hold our usual Harvest Festival as such this year, for obvious reasons, but families have still been more than generous. We would like to donate it all to Purley Food Hub…” Many thanks indeed, Foresters!

Thank you Keston Primary School for your donation today

Wed 21/10/20
Thank you to everyone – children, families and staff – at Keston Primary School, Old Coulsdon, for your Harvest food donation delivered to us today…

St David’s families and staff collect amazing £1,046 for Food Hub

Tue 20/10/20
Food Hub volunteers Zivile and Stephen are pictured receiving Harvest food from St David’s School, Purley, on Saturday (18th Oct). The school had asked parents to donate money for Harvest with the intention of arranging a Sainsbury’s delivery to us with the proceeds.

However, after collecting an amazing £1,046, the school bought food to make up a Harvest display in the school hall and then transferred the remaining money to the Food Hub’s bank account. Thank you to you all at St David’s.

A mountain of a delivery today from Kenley Primary School!

Mon 19/10/20
Kenley Primary School kindly delivered a mountain of food to us this morning, filling our two trolleys and nine more bags and boxes. Thank you to everyone at Kenley!

And big thanks also to the pupils and families and staff at Cumnor House School for Girls, Purley, for your Harvest collection organised by Head of Early Years and Food Hub volunteer Nicola Mearkle.

Thank you Oakwood for your Harvest donations

Thu 15/10/20
Thank you very much, pupils and families and staff at Oakwood School, Purley, for the minibus full of food and other items delivered to us at Purley United Reformed Church yesterday.

We are most grateful for all the generous Harvest donations that we are currently receiving from schools, churches and others, including Fennies Nursery, Purley, and The Change Foundation, Wallington.

Laleham Lea drops off over 350 items: pasta, tinned veg, cereals and more!

Wed 14/10/20
Laleham Lea School, Purley, dropped off their Harvest collection this morning: over 350 items including pasta, tinned vegetables, cereals and deodorant – and much more!

Head Teacher Karen Barry said: “We are delighted to help the Food Hub once again and I would like to thank all our families and staff for their generosity in these difficult times. Helping those in need is a key part of our Catholic ethos and we hope this donation helps in some small way to support the fantastic work the Food Hub does for the local community.”

Four new Trustees appointed at Food Hub’s AGM

Sat 10/10/20
Mark Dakin, Shade Odupelu, Terry Whittaker and Annabel Wright were appointed as Trustees at the Food Hub’s Annual General Meeting at Christ Church Purley on Thursday night (8th Oct). They replace two retiring Trustees, Derek Harris (Treasurer) and Judith Johnson, and fill two other vacancies. They were welcomed ‘on board’ by Trevor Jones, Chair of Trustees, who thanked Derek and Judith for their service.

Trevor and Helen Harris, who is temporarily standing down as Chair of the Management Committee, both paid tribute to the work of the Food Hub’s volunteers, particularly over the past six months of the coronavirus pandemic, and thanked churches, schools and the local community for their generous donations of food and money. Looking to the next six months, Trevor said the Food Hub would continue to operate as a food delivery service, delivering food parcels direct to the homes of clients and their families referred by ticket partner agencies.

Louise Willmer will be Acting Chair of the Management Committee and Joanna Walker succeeds Derek as Treasurer. The AGM was streamed live on our Facebook page by volunteer Rachael Nazarko and received 183 views during and since the meeting.

Follow our AGM on Facebook this evening from 7.30pm

Thu 08/10/20
The Food Hub’s Annual General Meeting will go ahead this evening (Thursday) but we regret with essential business only and restricted numbers attending: the appointed voting members from the 12 Purley and Kenley churches, the existing and prospective new Trustees and those involved with the running of the meeting. For volunteers, friends and supporters who wish to follow the proceedings, the meeting will be live streamed on our Facebook page from 7.30pm.

Busiest ever September follows our busiest January to August

Thu 01/10/20
Last month was the busiest ever September at the Food Hub with 3,681 meals provided to just over 400 hard-pressed clients and family members. It followed on from our busiest ever January, February, March, April…through to and including August.

One thankful client wrote after receiving their food parcel: “Hi, just to say thank you so much. I really appreciate all that food, there was so much, I wasn’t expecting that much. But that little book [of Bible quotes and pictures] you packed and the prayer nearly had me tear up. You do a great job I’m so grateful, take care.”

September 2020

October’s most-needed list is headed by fish/meat paste, tomatoes and cooked meat

Mon 28/09/20
Jars of fish paste and meat paste, tinned tomatoes, tins of cooked meat such as chicken, and children’s chocolate treats head the list of items most needed for our clients in October. Also listed are tinned fruit, tins of sweetcorn and carrots, jars of pasta sauce and cartons of long life whole milk, together with three non-food items: washing tablets, toothpaste and unisex deodorant.

Please bring donations to Purley United Reformed Church in Brighton Road, Purley, any Wednesday or Saturday morning, between 10.00am-12.00noon. Thank you very much.

We pass landmark of providing 200,000 meals for people in crisis since 2013

Wed 23/09/20
Today at the Food Hub we provided our 200,000th meal for clients and their families since we opened in January 2013. Our first 100,000 meals took 4 years and 11 months; the second 100,000 took 2 years and 9 months. Since 2013, 3,273 clients have been referred to us for food parcels a total of 9,440 times and we have provided food for 22,243 people = 200,187 meals.

We are so grateful to all the churches, schools, businesses, organisations, families and individuals who kindly donate food and toiletries, etc – and our volunteers who sort and date-stamp everything, pack the parcels and (currently) deliver them to our clients’ homes.

Wilson’s delivers a minibus full of food and other donations

Wed 23/09/20
Big thanks to the students and families and the staff of Wilson’s School, Wallington, for collecting more than a dozen crates full of food and other items and delivering them to us at Purley United Reformed Church today…

Annual Report pays tribute to Food Hub volunteers with thanks too to all of our donors

Fri 18/09/20
The Food Hub’s Annual Report for 2019/2020 is available here (pdf). Trevor Jones, the Food Hub Chair, says: “On behalf of the Trustees and Management Committee, I wish to thank all of our volunteers, new and old, who have helped in any way both before and during the pandemic. New volunteers came from our member churches and from the community and I hope we will be able to bring them fully into the Food Hub fold.”

The report also gives enormous thanks to everyone who supports the Food Hub in any way, big or small, through donating time, food and money and keeping the clients, volunteers, Trustees and Management Committee in your thoughts and prayers. Among our donors and supporters, we warmly thank local churches, schools, WI and Rotary, businesses, uniformed organisations and countless families and individuals.

Children’s chocolate treats are added to our list of items needed in September

Fri 18/09/20
Chocolate treats for the children of the Food Hub’s clients are a mid-month addition to our September food list. Also, kindly note that the instant hot chocolate we are requesting needs to be, please, the type that only requires water to be added. You can see the updated list here. Thank you!

Food bank volunteers are ‘truly unsung heroes,’ says Mayor of Croydon

Thu 03/09/20
The Mayor of Croydon, Cllr Maddie Henson, visited Purley Food Hub yesterday (Wed) after also visiting Croydon Food Bank and Croydon Refugee Day Centre (CRDC).

She tweeted afterwards: “I’ve started looking at food banks/resources provided by organisations such as CRDC, Purley Food Hub and Praise Gate UK (Croydon Food Bank) and been humbled by the tremendous volunteer work and individuals literally daily changing people’s lives during hardship. They are truly unsung heroes.”

The Mayor is pictured far left with Food Hub volunteers (left to right) Michele, Trevor, Betty and Sally.

Hot chocolate, honey, tinned carrots & meat most needed in September

Tue 01/09/20
Instant hot chocolate, tinned carrots and sweetcorn, small 500g bags of sugar and tinned meat are the items required most for clients in September. Jars of honey and peanut butter and cartons of long life fruit juice are also needed, along with non-food items shampoo, unisex deodorant and bars of soap.

We are open to receive donations each Wednesday and Saturday morning, from 10.00am-12.00midday, at Purley United Reformed Church. next to Purley Hospital. Thank you!

August 2020

Busiest ever August takes us past 30,000 meals so far in 2020

Sat 29/08/20
Although, in terms of meals provided, August was less busy than the previous five months since the coronavirus crisis began in March, it was nevertheless our busiest ever August. Altogether, 3,249 meals were provided to clients and family members in need during August – taking us past, after eight months of 2020, the 30,000 meals provided in the whole of 2019.

Client’s grateful sister sends £100 ‘thank-you’ food donation from Asda

Thu 27/08/20
Generous donations of food and money continue to be received from Food Hub friends and supporters from the churches, local community, shops and businesses, etc, and very many individuals and families.

One donation was from the grateful sister of a man who received a food parcel earlier during lockdown; she arranged for a ‘thank-you’ delivery to be sent from Asda with over £100 worth of food…

Sugar, custard, tinned carrots, potatoes & chicken head August food list

Sat 01/08/20
Small 500g bags of sugar, tinned and packet custard, tinned vegetables especially carrots and sweetcorn, tinned and packet potatoes and tins of chicken are at the top of our list of items needed for clients in August.

Jars of peanut butter and meat/fish paste, bottles of squash, cartons of long life fruit juice and whole milk, and tinned fruit and pulses are also listed. Non-food items are bottles of shampoo and unisex deodorant.

Donations can be brought please to Purley United Reformed Church (next to Purley Hospital) any Wednesday or Saturday morning from 10.00am-12.00noon. Thank you for your support.

July 2020

July was the sixth busiest month since the Food Hub began

Fri 31/07/20
July’s 3,735 meals for 4,125 hard-pressed clients and family members was the sixth highest monthly total since the Food Hub started in 2013.

Though less than in the previous four months of the pandemic period, it took the overall total for the first seven months of 2020 to close to 30,000 meals, just under 600 less than for the whole of 2019.

Once again we warmly thank each and every one of our friends and supporters from the churches, local community, shops and businesses (such as Yodel in Mitcham) and very many individuals and families for your continued donations of food and money during this time.

Reedham Park School children vote to give us their final fund raising

Wed 29/07/20
Debbie Russell, head teacher of Reedham Park School, brought us a donation of £200 in coins and notes from the pupils who voted for their most recent fund raising to come to the Food Hub.

Sadly for the children and staff, the school closed this month because of failing pupil numbers and the uncertainties caused by coronavirus. Thank you Reedham Park, we greatly appreciate your generous act.

Salli makes masks which Laura sells to buy £250 of food

Thu 23/07/20
Mother and daughter volunteers Salli and Laura have raised £250 for the Food Hub.

Salli explains: ‘I made a few Covid-19 masks/face coverings, well rather a lot really, which Laura has sold to friends and colleagues. The total raised so far is over £250 and Laura has bought that amount of food for the Food Hub as a gift from us both.’

Thank you very much indeed, Salli and Laura. And our thanks too to the residents and staff of Abbeyfield Sanderstead for a donation of £30 from a puppet show held at their house.

THANK YOU x 3…!!!

Sat 18/07/20
We give grateful thanks to staff at Barclays Bank in North End, Croydon, and to members of His Life Church based at Harris Academy Purley for their first donations of food and toiletries to the Food Hub … and to the manager and staff at Hamsey Green Co-op, 351 Limpsfield Road, South Croydon, for reinstating a collection basket for customers’ donations. Thank you all!

Sugar, carrots, pulses, milk and shampoo added to July’s most needed list

Thu 16/07/20
Small 500g bags of sugar, tins of carrots and sweetcorn, tinned pulses such as kidney beans and lentils and cartons of long life whole milk have been added to the list of items most needed for our clients in July. Also added are shampoo and unisex deodorant.

Tins of potatoes, fruit and cooked meat are top of the list for July

Wed 01/07/20
Tinned and packet potatoes, tinned fruit and tins of cooked meat such as chicken head the list of items we are in most need of this month.

Also on our July food list are packets of instant custard, tins of rice pudding, bottles of squash and cartons of long life fruit juice, and jars of meat/fish paste, peanut butter, jam and honey, along with children’s chocolate treats. Non-food items listed include toothpaste. shower gel and toilet rolls.

Please bring donations to Purley United Reformed Church next to Purley Hospital in Brighton Road any Saturday or Wednesday morning between 10.00am-12.00noon – come to the door at the end of the roadway running along the left side of the church. Thank you so much!

June 2020

26,000 meals provided to clients and their families in the first half of 2020

Tue 30/06/20
June saw the Food Hub deliver food parcels to 504 clients and family members struggling at this time. With three meals a day for three days for each person in the household, that’s a total of 4,536 meals provided during the month to clients/families in Purley, Coulsdon, South Croydon and Waddon.

It takes this year’s January-June meals total to 26,145, nearly double 2019’s corresponding total of 13,941 meals. It also takes us past 190,000 meals overall since the Food Hub opened in 2013.

Wheelie bin installed at St Mark’s Church for food donations

Fri 19/06/20
A big yellow wheelie bin is now installed at St Mark’s Church, Woodcote, to receive food donations for the Food Hub.

It has been provided by CCMA (Croydon Covid-19 Mutual Aid) and will be available for donations while St Mark’s is open from 9.00am-4.00pm daily.

Thank you to the Church Hill area CCMA WhatsApp group for your support with donations, and to Vicar Rev Fiona Weaver (pictured) for delivering the donations to us at Purley United Reformed Church.

Sugar, fruit juice and squash added to updated June food list

Thu 18/06/20
Small 500g bags of sugar, cartons of longlife fruit juice and bottles of squash have been added to our updated list of items most needed in June.

These are alongside tins of cooked meat such as chicken, tinned ready meat meals, tins of fruit and rice pudding and packets of instant custard. Also listed are jars of jam, honey and savoury spreads and tinned and packet potatoes. Non-food items most required are toilet rolls, shower gel, washing tablets/capsules and small washing up liquid.

Donations can be brought to Purley United Reformed Church, next to Purley Hospital, each Wednesday and Saturday morning from 10.00am-12.00noon. Thank you everyone.

It’s for yoo-hoo! Timely delivery from Yodel to the Food Hub

Mon 15/06/20
We were pleased to receive a delivery of five boxes of food items from Yodel in Mitcham on Saturday morning following a collection among the depot’s drivers and warehouse staff. Thank yoooooo, Yodel!

Powerful support from YOUTH PWR INT’L

Tue 02/06/20
Thank you to the young people from YOUTH PWR INT’L who delivered food and essential items to the Food Hub on Saturday – we are most grateful for your support.

The organisation, based in Waddon, works with communities to engage, inspire, educate and empower teenagers and young adults. As part of their Covid-19 support project, #nextdoor, the young project committee members are also providing care packages to individual young people in the community and personal support through virtual means and face to face during the coronavirus crisis.

Tins of cooked meat and ready meals and fruit are most needed

Mon 01/06/20
Tins of cooked meat such as chicken, tinned ready meat meals, tins of fruit and rice pudding and packets of instant custard are among the items on our Food List for June.

Small 500g packets of rice and packs of microwavable rice are also listed, along with jars of jam, honey and savoury spreads, tinned and packet potatoes and cartons of long life whole milk. Shower gel, washing tablets/capsules, small washing up liquid and toilet rolls are this month’s non-food items most required.

Please bring donations to Purley United Reformed Church, next to Purley Hospital, on Wednesday and Saturday mornings between 10.00am-12.00noon – come to the door at the end of the roadway along the left side of the church building. Thank you as always.

May 2020

14,000-plus meals provided in the three months March to May

Sun 31/05/20
In May, the Food Hub provided a total of 4,590 meals to 510 clients and family members in crisis, bringing the number of meals from March to May to nearly 14,700 – an increase of more than 100 per cent on the same period in 2019, and taking us past 185,000 meals overall since the Food Hub started in 2013.

One client expressed their thanks: ‘I do not normally ask for help but times are tough – thank you so much,’ and another said: ‘Thank you, it makes life so much easier.’

Neighbourhood food collections provide a big boost

Thu 14/05/20
Pictured is the food brought to the Food Hub yesterday by Rebecca from among her neighbours in Redford Avenue, Coulsdon.

Rebecca had emailed us to say she’d seen that we don’t need more volunteers at present “so I’m thinking I could start a local collection point from home and drop donations to you once a week…” She put posts on her local Facebook pages and within minutes heard back from the first two people wanting to donate.

Meanwhile, Helen has organised collections from her neighbours in Furze Lane, Purley, while Elizabeth from Croydon Communities Consortium has used Nextdoor, the neighbourhood hub, to collect and receive donations from people all over Purley, Sanderstead and South Croydon for both the Food Hub and The Vine food bank run by the Salvation Army in New Addington. Thank you all very much.

Thank you Londis in Chipstead Valley Road and owner Sudesh

Wed 13/05/20
We are very grateful for the support we are receiving from the Londis shop at 229 Chipstead Valley Road in Coulsdon, and owner Sudesh.

They have been donating up to 20 loaves of bread, boxes of pasta, bags of potatoes and fruit, and have offered also to have one of our collection baskets in the shop for customers’ donations. Thank you Sudesh!

Jam, tins of mixed veg, tinned fruit and toilet rolls are added to May list

Tue 12/05/20
New items – jars of jam, tins of mixed veg, tinned fruit and packs of toilet rolls – have been added to our May Food List. We are open to receive donations of Wednesday and Saturday mornings, between 10.00am-12.00noon, at Purley United Reformed Church, 906 Brighton Road, Purley CR8 2LN.

Please bring them to the door at the far end of the roadway running along the left side of the church building. Thank you!

Ready meals, potatoes, coffee and custard head May’s most-wanted list

Fri 01/05/20
The items most needed for the Food Hub’s clients in May include tinned ready meals, tinned/packet potatoes, jars of coffee, tinned/packet custard, tins of rice pudding and jars of honey and savoury spreads, and also shower gel and washing tablets/capsules.

Donations can be brought on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, from 10.00am-12.00noon, to Purley United Reformed Church, 906 Brighton Road, Purley CR8 2LN – next to Purley Hospital. Please come to the door at the far end of the internal roadway that runs along the left-hand side of the church building.

April 2020

Second busiest month in the Food Hub’s seven-year history

Thu 30/04/20
April was the second busiest month in the Food Hub’s seven-year history, with 5,022 meals provided to hard-pressed clients and their families – just 45 meals fewer than the record set in March.

It was the first month of operation of our new home food delivery service and took us past 180,000 meals overall since 2013.

As always, we extend our enormous thanks to everyone who so generously donates food, toiletries and other items from our monthly list.

Supermarket collection baskets full to the brim!

Thu 23/04/20
Thank you very much to everyone who is leaving donations of food, toiletries, etc, in our collection boxes at three local supermarkets: Waitrose Sanderstead, Sainsbury’s Warlingham and Sainsbury’s Local Purley. Pictured is the basket at Waitrose Sanderstead yesterday (Wednesday) – full to the top!
Yesterday our volunteer drivers delivered food parcels to 31 clients in the South Croydon, Coulsdon, Purley and Waddon postcode areas, providing food to a total of 97 family members.

Thank you to the team of Camilla, Rev Fiona, Clare, Jean & Chris, Fiona T, Kevin & Julia, Kate, Bebe, Sue, Chris, Lynda, Sara & Martin, Barbara and Danu.

Honey, tinned/packet potatoes & custard added to April food list

Sun 19/04/20
Four new items have been added to the list of products that we are short of this month for hard-pressed clients and their families: jars of honey, tinned and packet potatoes, tinned and packet custard and washing tablets/capsules.

Donations will be gratefully received this week on Wednesday and Saturday mornings between 10.00am-12.00noon at Purley United Reformed Church, 906 Brighton Road, Purley CR8 2LN, next to Purley Hospital. Thank you very much.

Big thank-you to our volunteers and food donors

Sat 11/04/20
A big thank-you to the team of volunteers on duty for the Food Hub on Wednesday (8 April) – receiving and sorting food donations and refilling the shelves, and preparing, packing and delivering food parcels to the 33 clients and total of 103 family members: Simon, Trish, Becky, Salli, Laura, Betty, Sally, Rachael, Bunty, Bej, Trevor, Ivanka, Chris, Sue, Lynda, Bebe, Danu, Rev Fiona, Sara, Martin, Clare and Fiona T.

Thank you all, and Waitrose Coulsdon and everyone else who provided food and money donations.

Pasta, spreads and coffee added to April’s most needed list

Thu 09/04/20
New items – pasta, savoury spreads and coffee – have now been added to our April Food List. We are currently open to receive donations on Saturday and Wednesday mornings, from 10.00am-12.00noon, at Purley United Reformed Church, 906 Brighton Road, Purley CR8 2LN – between Purley Hospital and the Pear Tree pub.

Our grateful clients and their families join us in thanking you so very much for your ongoing support.

Over 2,300 meals provided in a week

Wed 08/04/20
From today we have switched to Wednesday mornings for our food deliveries to clients and families in need in Purley, South Croydon, Coulsdon and Waddon.

Today food parcels were provided to 33 clients and 103 family members – that’s over 2,300 meals provided in the past week.

Thank you to our amazing volunteers and to everyone who has kindly brought in food donations (including Waitrose Coulsdon for another generous donation of fresh food today).

Food parcels provided today for 46 clients and 161 family members

Sat 04/04/20
Today saw the launch of the Food Hub’s new home delivery service to clients and families referred to us by our Ticket Partners and living in the CR8, CR2, CR5 and CR0 4 (Waddon) postcode areas: in total, food was provided to 46 clients and 161 family members.

Huge thanks to our volunteer drivers Liam, Lynda, Bebe, Sara, Martin, Fiona, Kate, Clare, Catherine, Chris and Mary, and to the team who packed the parcels: Rachael, Emily, Sally, Eddie, Trish, Simon, Betty, Trevor and Ivanka.

Thank you too to Sainsbury’s Local Purley and Waitrose Coulsdon for big donations of bread and fresh food, and to all the kind people from the local community who dropped in donations and also refreshments during the morning. A wonderful all-round team effort!

Milk, tea bags, tinned ready meals and tin openers top April’s most needed list

Fri 03/04/20
Items we most need this month to re-stock our shelves include long life whole milk, tea bags, sugar, tinned ready meals and tins of pulses, vegetables and rice pudding, and washing up liquid, toothpaste and shower gel…and tin openers.

For the duration of the coronavirus crisis, we will be open to receive donations on Saturday and Wednesday mornings, between 10.00am-12.00noon, at Purley United Reformed Church, 906 Brighton Road, Purley CR8 2LN (between Purley Hospital and the Pear Tree pub). We thank everyone for your continued support.

Record month at the Food Hub with food provided for over 5,000 meals

Thu 02/04/20
March was the BUSIEST EVER month in the Food Hub’s seven years of operation, with food for a record 5,067 meals provided to clients and families in crisis – that’s over 1,000 more meals than in the previous busiest month in December 2017.

We thank everyone who brought in donations of food and money (and words of thanks and encouragement) and of course our volunteers for sorting the food donations, packing the food parcels and running the very busy sessions.

March 2020

Food provided for 156 people at our busiest ever session

Mon 23/03/20
It was the Food Hub’s busiest ever session on Saturday with 44 clients attending and food provided for a total of 156 people and family members.

Huge thanks to the clients for their patience, to the kind local folk who brought in donations of food and money, to Waitrose Coulsdon for a massive amount of food and other items including 91 loo rolls!…and of course to our team of volunteers on duty for nearly four hours: Tasha, Rachael, Danu, Juliana, Liam, Louise P, Betty, Trevor, Felicity, Zivile and Ivanka.

What a team! Our Super Six swimmers raise a superb £1,120

Mon 16/03/20
The Food Hub’s Super Six team of (left to right) Gilbert, Winifred, Louise, Jude, Howard and Janet swam a combined total of 107 lengths of Purley Pool in their allotted 55 minutes on Saturday 7th March…and raised a magnificent £1,120 in this year’s Swimathon organised by Purley Rotary.

Thank you all so much (and your sponsors too) – another terrific effort and result. Our team, aged from 11 to 82, was one of 33 which took part over the two Saturdays of the event, and the overall total of 222 swimmers covered 3,404 lengths or around 53 miles.

Honey, porridge, juice, size 6 nappies & toothpaste most needed in March

Sun 01/03/20
In March we are particularly requesting donations of any of these food items: Jars of honey, packets of plain porridge, cartons of long life fruit juice / small bottles of squash, long life whole milk, packets/tubs of dried potatoes, and jars of age 10 months baby food.

Non-food items especially needed are: Size 6 nappies, toothpaste, unisex shampoo, washing powder tablets/sachets, and small washing up liquid. Thank you!

February 2020

Busiest February to date with 3,400 meals provided

Sat 29/02/20
This has been the busiest February in the Food Hub’s seven-year history with food for 3,411 meals provided for struggling clients and their families – nearly 1,400 more meals than in February 2019.

So, that’s close to 7,000 meals provided already in the first two months of 2020 and takes us past 170,000 meals overall since 2013.

Thank you to EVERYONE – supporters and volunteers – for helping to keep our shelves stocked to meet clients’ need

Thank you to everyone at Iceland Wallington

Tue 25/02/20
Customers of Iceland Wallington kindly donated 26 bags of food and £37.39 in our collection at the store on Saturday 22nd February. Thank you to everyone for your generosity – and to the supportive Iceland staff and management.

Milk, dried potatoes, pasta sauce and carrots top February’s most-wanted list

Sat 01/02/20
Long life whole milk, packets/tubs of dried potatoes, pasta sauce and tinned carrots head the list of food items most needed by the Food Hub in February. Also listed are jars of strawberry and raspberry jam and peanut butter, and puddings, jellies and Angel Delight.

Non-food items needed are washing powder tablets/sachets, small washing up liquid, unisex shampoo and ladies sanitary pads.

January 2020

Another 3,500 meals provided for hard-pressed clients and families

Fri 31/01/20
Following on from the 3,600-plus meals provided in December, we provided a further 3,500 meals in January for hard-pressed clients and their families – almost exactly 1,000 meals more than in January a year ago.

Nearly 160 clients attended over the course of this month’s eight Wednesday and Saturday sessions, collecting packages of food, toiletries and household items for 390 people.

We provide food for 3 meals a day for 3 days for each person, so that was a total of 3,510 meals in January…and now more than 165,000 meals in the past 7 years since we opened in January 2013.

Once again, huge thanks to everyone who so kindly and generously donates food and other items to the Food Hub – and to the 140 volunteers involved in the many different aspects of the work.

Six items to focus donations on in January

Wed 01/01/20
Donations of food and toiletries, etc, to the Food Hub in December were so amazingly huge that in January we are asking supporters to focus please on the following six items that we remain short of:

Tins of plain meat – chicken, ham, corned beef, cartons of long life whole milk, jars of peanut butter, strawberry & raspberry jam, packets of dried potatoes and unisex shampoo. Thank you for your continued support.

December 2019

Busiest ever session at Purley Food Hub

Mon 23/12/19
Saturday morning (21 December) was the busiest ever session at the Food Hub, with food for 1,098 meals provided for people in crisis. 39 clients attended and we provided food for a total of 122 people.

Today (Monday) we delivered 150 Christmas turkey hampers to clients/families nominated by our Ticket Partner agencies through the Christmas Lunch on Jesus project, while earlier this month the agencies received presents to give to 200 needy children through Toys for Joy.

On behalf of the Trustees and Management Committee, we send enormous thanks to everyone who donated food, money and their time: our volunteers, churches, schools, businesses, Rotary, WI and uniformed organisations and many, many individuals and families throughout the local community.

Another generous Christmas collection at Waitrose Sanderstead

Wed 11/12/19
We thank shoppers and staff at Waitrose Sanderstead for contributing the equivalent of 14 large trolleyloads of food and other items plus £225.06 in our Christmas collection at the store on Friday 6th December. Thank you all for every single item and pound donated. Our first collection of 2020 is at Waitrose Coulsdon on Saturday 11th January, 9am – 6pm.

Caridon carry on this Christmas – and look next to Easter!

Fri 06/12/19
A large donation of toys and food was collected today from Caridon Property based in High Street, Croydon, with the toys earmarked for our Toys for Joy scheme for needy children.

Caridon are regular supporters of the Food Hub and organiser Susan Passman (centre) and her team are already taking about their next collection…of Easter eggs! Pictured are our volunteers Eddie and David receiving today’s goods.

Woodcote High present huge collection at Christmas concert

Thu 05/12/19
Students and their families and the staff at Woodcote High School donated a staggering total of 1,375 food and other items which they presented to Helen Harris, our Management Committee chair, at the school’s Christmas concert tonight.

Noteworthy individual contributors were Emma from 10Z with 42 items, Rhea (7D) 24 items and Imaani (12Y) 17 items. In addition, the school is donating £880 raised from the concert itself. Thank you Woodcote High!

Sainsbury’s Local promoting the Food Hub

Mon 02/12/19
During December, the Food Hub is being promoted at Sainsbury’s Local in Purley High Street through the store’s ‘Help Brighten a Million Christmases’ scheme – they have a collection basket for food and toys.

Each item donated is counted towards Sainsbury’s overall collection target of 1 million items nationwide.

Meanwhile, we are again running Christmas Lunch on Jesus, delivering Christmas turkey hampers to 150 clients/families nominated by our Ticket Partners, and also Toys for Joy, aiming to give two gifts each to around 200 needy children. Keston Primary School is again collecting along with local businesses. Full details from purleyfoodhub@gmail.com.

Christmas biscuits and children’s chocolate treats requested in December

Sun 01/12/19
Christmas biscuits and chocolate treats for children are among the items included on our December food list for hard-pressed clients and their families.

Donations of cartons of long life whole milk and tins of chicken, ham and corned beef are also requested, along with tinned peas and carrots, tinned dessert fruit and rice pudding and small bags of sugar. This month’s non-food items especially needed are tin openers, unisex deodorant and adults’ toothbrushes.

Donations will be gratefully received at Purley United Reformed Church and Christ Church Purley, as well as at Get Fired! and Cafe Blue in Brighton Road Purley. Thank you everyone for your support.

November 2019

Busiest ever November follows busiest October

Sat 30/11/19
Our busiest October was followed in turn by our busiest November, with 3,042 meals provided over the past month for clients and their families, including a total of 1,044 meals on the last 2 Saturdays alone.

It took us past 6,000 meals during these last 2 months…and past 160,000 meals overall since the Food Hub opened almost 7 years ago.

Waitrose Coulsdon shoppers donate 11 trolleyloads plus £225

Tue 19/11/19
Big thanks to the generous customers and staff of Waitrose Coulsdon where we collected the equivalent of 11 trolleyloads of goods and £225.79 on Saturday 16 November. Our final supermarket collection of 2019 is at Waitrose Sanderstead on Friday 6 December from 9am – 6pm.

November’s food list headed by long life whole milk, tinned meat & potatoes

Fri 01/11/19
Last month was our busiest October since we started in 2013 with 3,069 meals provided to struggling clients and their families – over 1,000 meals up on October 2018. It was also our 4th busiest month over the past nearly 7 years and the busiest month outside of December and January.

As we continue the build-up to Christmas, cartons of long life whole milk once again top the list, followed by tins of corned beef, chicken and ham, packets of dried / tinned potatoes and tinned carrots. Also listed are jars of fish paste, small bags of sugar, tins of rice pudding and children’s chocolate treats. There are also 3 non-food items listed: toilet rolls, unisex deodorant and bars of soap.

We remain so grateful for the local community’s continued support.

October 2019

TWENTY EIGHT schools donate food this Harvest time

Wed 30/10/19
We are so grateful once again to our local churches, schools, businesses and organisations for their amazingly generous response to this year’s annual Harvest appeal for food donations.

Our storeroom at Purley United Reformed Church is overflowing now with the deliveries we have received and collected as we start the busy build-up to Christmas. So far 28 schools have donated food this Autumn term:

Wallington High for Girls, New Valley Primary, The John Fisher, Royal Russell Junior, Little Apples Day Nursery, Wilson’s, Gresham Primary, St Nicholas, Regina Coeli Catholic Primary, The Minster Junior, Keston Primary, Atwood Primary, Oasis Academy Byron, Purley Oaks Primary, Old Palace, Woldingham, Oasis Academy Coulsdon, St Giles, St David’s, Warlingham Park, Cumnor House for Girls, Margaret Roper Catholic Primary, Oakwood, Laleham Lea, The Hayes Primary, Foresters Primary, Kenley Primary and Beaumont Primary.

THANK YOU EVERYONE!

‘I enjoy every session, ensuring each client leaves with a smile…’

Mon 07/10/19
Volunteers, supporters and friends of Purley Food Hub attended the Annual General Meeting at Christ Church Purley on Thursday 3 October. Guest speakers included Lizzie Englefield from St Mary’s Catholic High School, Jo Doherty and Mimi Khorsand from the Happy Baby Community and Nicky Powell from Croydon Refugee Day Centre, as well as Food Hub volunteers Cynthia Smith and Betty Jones. Please click here to view our 2018/2019 Annual Report (pdf).

Facts from the Report’s ‘Our Year In Numbers’ feature include: 691 clients, referred by 69 agencies in the borough, visited the Food Hub a total of 1,474 times and received food and toiletries for 3,262 people; at 3 meals a day for 3 days for each person, that’s 29,358 meals provided.

Among the volunteers explaining In Our Own Words what keeps them coming back to help, Emily writes: “I have been part of the team for over 4 years and have enjoyed every session, welcoming each client and ensuring they leave with a smile and small reassurance that their short-term food supply has been covered. I really enjoy the teamwork and positive atmosphere. No matter what the circumstances, family size or time, there is always an enthusiastic team waiting to help.”

Vegetarian meals, bottles of squash and packets of dried potatoes top October’s list

Tue 01/10/19
The 1,899 meals provided in September to hard-pressed clients and their families took us past 20,000 meals in total so far this year and to almost 155,000 since we opened in January 2013.

Tinned vegetarian meals, small bottles of squash and packets of dried potatoes head October’s list, which also includes hot chocolate requiring only water, jars of meat and fish paste, toddler microwavable meals and packets of custard requiring only water. Three non-food items on the list are: disposable razors, non bio washing powder capsules/tablets and small washing up liquid.

Thank you everyone for your donations, however big or small – every item we receive goes to someone in need.

September 2019

Thank you Waitrose Sanderstead!

Mon 23/09/19
Generous shoppers at Waitrose Sanderstead donated the equivalent of 14 trolleyloads of food and other items, plus £151.13 in cash, in our latest collection at the store on Friday 20th September. Thank you very much everyone, not forgetting the Waitrose staff and management (and our own Food Hub collectors and sorters!).

Our final two supermarket collections of the year are on Saturday 16th November at Waitrose Coulsdon and Friday 6th December at Waitrose Sanderstead, both 9am – 6pm.

Can you help please to build up our food stocks again in September…?

Sun 01/09/19
August’s record-equalling 2,304 meals provided to struggling clients and their families (the same number as a year ago) took the combined June-August total to a most-ever 7,029 – 200 more than last summer.

It means that as we start on the autumn road to Christmas, our food stocks have become somewhat depleted and we would greatly appreciate your help in building up the stock levels again during September…

Once again long life whole milk tops our list of priority items needed, followed by small bags of sugar, long life fruit juice, small bottles of squash, packets of dried potatoes, packet soup, jars of pasta sauce, packets of savoury biscuits and tins of rice pudding and dessert fruit. Two non-food items we especially need are unisex shower gel and small washing up liquid.

As always, on behalf of our clients, we warmly thank you for your wonderful support.

August 2019

Long life whole milk again heads our Top 10 priority items needed in August

Thu 01/08/19
The past months’s 2,538 meals provided for hard-pressed clients and their families made it the Food Hub’s busiest July since we started in 2013…as well as taking us past the landmark figure of 150,000 meals overall.

As an indication of our steadily increasing busy-ness, we passed 50,000 meals in September 2015 (32 months). 100,000 in September 2017 (24 months) and now 150,000 in July 2019 (22 months).

Long life whole milk once more heads the top 10 priority items, along with 500g packets of breakfast cereals, small jars of honey, long life fruit juice / small bottles of squash, packets of dried potatoes, small packets of savoury rice, packet soup and tinned rice pudding. Two non-food items we especially need are small washing up liquid and unisex shampoo. As always, thank you for your support.

July 2019

Food Hub passes 150,000 meals milestone

Sat 27/07/19
Today we passed our latest milestone by providing the 150,000th meal to the Food Hub’s clients and their families since we opened six and a half years ago in January 2013.

To date, 2,688 clients have attended a total of 7,408 times and we have provided food for 16,681 people going through hard times. At three meals a day for three days for each person, that’s a grand total of 150,129 meals so far.

Once again, we say a huge, heartfelt thank-you to our wonderful volunteers and supporters who make the Food Hub happen, including those who serve our clients each Saturday and Wednesday, sort and date-label food donations on Mondays, refill the shelves on Tuesdays and collect donations at supermarkets…plus the many, many churches, schools, organisations, businesses and families and individuals who give us food, toiletries and money. It is one tremendous all-round community effort and we warmly thank everyone involved.

Waitrose Coulsdon shoppers show their generosity once more

Tue 16/07/19
Fourteen large trolleyloads of food and other items plus £100.44 in cash were donated by generous shoppers in our collection at Waitrose Coulsdon on 13 July – thank you very much everyone, we are most grateful.

Our next collections to the end of the year are on Friday 20 September at Waitrose Sanderstead, Saturday 16 November at Waitrose Coulsdon and Friday 6 December at Waitrose Sanderstead, all 9am – 6pm.

Needed in July: tinned meat, whole milk, fruit juice, pulses…& TIN OPENERS

Mon 01/07/19
Another 2,187 meals were provided for Purley Food Hub clients and their families in June, taking 2019’s meals total so far to just short of 14,000. To date, since the Food Hub started in January 2013, 2,657 clients have visited 7,303 times between them and we have provided food for 16,426 people in crisis. At 3 meals a day for 3 days for each person, that’s close to 148,000 meals overall.

The July food list sets out this month’s top 10 priority items: tinned plain meat (corned beef, ham, chicken), hot chocolate drink requiring only water, long life whole milk, fruit juice/small bottles of squash, tinned pulses (kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas), sweet biscuits and packets of custard requiring only water. Non-food items needed please are unisex deodorant and shampoo…and TIN OPENERS. Thank you as always.

June 2019

Waitrose Sanderstead once again display great generosity

Wed 19/06/19
The equivalent of eight large trolleyloads of food and other items plus £167 in cash were donated by customers of Waitrose Sanderstead in our collection at the store on Friday 14 June.

Our collectors enjoyed good conversations with the friendly shoppers who took the opportunity to find out more about the work of the Food Hub. The day ended with a gentleman rushing over as the team were clearing up to put a £20 note in the collection bottle.

Thank you everyone for your generous support once again. Our next supermarket collection is at Waitrose Coulsdon on Saturday 13th July, 9am – 6pm.

June 2019

Sainsbury’s Warlingham chooses Food Hub for 150 days of donations

Thu 06/06/19
As part of Sainsbury’s 150th anniversary celebrations, staff at the Warlingham store have kindly nominated Purley Food Hub as their chosen charity for 150 days. They will be at the collection basket several times a week to encourage shoppers to donate items and they will then deliver the items to the Food Hub each week for our volunteers to sort and put on the shelves.

So a big thank-you to the shoppers and staff at Sainsbury’s Warlingham! Pictured (left to right) are our volunteers Ros and Jean with Louise and Ryan from Sainsbury’s. peas and carrots, tinned tomatoes and packet custard requiring only water. Non-food items needed are toilet rolls, unisex deodorant and non bio washing tablets/sachets.

Long life milk and fruit juice, peas, carrots, tomatoes…and toilet rolls are needed most in June

Sat 01/06/19
With nearly 2,450 meals provided for hard-pressed clients and their families during this past month, it was our second busiest May since the Food Hub opened six years ago. It took the year’s total to almost 11,800 meals so far in 2019 and past 145,000 overall since 2013. Thank you everyone for your part in making this possible.

Our June food list has this month’s top 10 priority items: cartons of long life whole milk, long life milk alternatives (soya, oat, almond), long life fruit juice / bottles of squash, 500g packets of sugar, tins of peas and carrots, tinned tomatoes and packet custard requiring only water. Non-food items needed are toilet rolls, unisex deodorant and non bio washing tablets/sachets.

May 2019

American university students visit the Food Hub

Thu 23/05/19
We were delighted to welcome a team of seven American university students to the Food Hub yesterday (Wednesday). The young people – from Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida – spent the morning receiving food donations from customers at Sainsbury’s Local Purley, sorting and date-stamping items and bagging chocolate treats and washing machine tablets ready to go on the shelves for clients coming to the Food Hub on Saturday.

The students came as part of their 3-week working visit to Old Lodge Lane Baptist Church, Purley, for which they raised their own funds.

So, thank you Kylee, Ethan, Pearson, Jessica, Ali, Delaney and Courtney – it was great to meet you and to have you working with us!

Thank you shoppers at the Co-op Hamsey Green

Tue 21/05/19
Generous shoppers at the Co-op Hamsey Green donated 27 bags of food and toiletries and £108.34 in cash during our collection at the store on Saturday 18 May. Thank you all – every item and every pound you kindly donated will make a real difference to people in need at this time.

Long life fruit juice and milk, breakfast cereals and tinned meat top May’s most-needed list

Wed 01/05/19
For the fourth month in a row, the number of meals provided by the Food Hub topped 2,000 again in April. That’s now more than 9,300 meals provided to struggling clients and their families in 2019 so far.

Our May food list sets out this month’s priority items required: cartons of long life fruit juice and whole milk, 500g packets of breakfast cereals, tins of chicken, ham and corned beef, packets of dried potato, tins of rice pudding and packet custard. Non-food items listed are unisex deodorant and non bio washing tablets/sachets.

The list also gives details of several places in Purley where donations can be taken. Once again we thank you for your support.

April 2019

Waitrose Coulsdon shoppers donate seven trolleyloads of goods plus £211

Thu 18/04/19
Generous shoppers at Waitrose Coulsdon donated seven large trolleyloads of goods and £211 in cash in our latest collection at the store on Saturday 13 April.

We are most grateful for every donation received. Please look out for our volunteers at our next two collections at the Co-op Hamsey Green on 18 May and Waitrose Sanderstead on 15 June.

Can you help? We need more Sorters, Stackers, Packers and Refreshment Volunteers…

Sun 07/04/19
We are currently looking for more volunteers to join our friendly Food Hub team. Specifically, we need more Sorters, Stackers, Packers and Refreshment Volunteers at our Distribution Centre in central Purley, and also more Supermarket Collectors.

Details are on our website: click on How can I help? in the menu (top right) and then scroll down to Help at our Distribution Centre. To find out more, please contact us on 07546 635295 or by email at purleyfoodhub@gmail.com and we will arrange for you to come to a taster session. We look forward to hearing from you!

Breakfast cereals, sugar, savoury rice and tins of plain meat most needed in April

Mon 01/04/19
Last month was our busiest-ever March since the Food Hub started in 2013, with food for 2,780 meals provided for hard-pressed clients and their families. It takes the total number of meals provided already this year to 7,300, and past 140,000 overall.

Our April food list has the top 10 priority items currently most needed, including 500g packets of breakfast cereals, small bags of sugar, microwavable packets of savoury rice, and tins of corned beef, chicken and ham. Also needed this month are jars of pasta sauce, tins of dessert fruit, and children’s chocolate treats, and three non-food items: unisex deodorant, sanitary pads, and non bio washing tablets/sachets.

Huge thanks once more for everyone’s continued support.

March 2019

15 trolleyloads of goods and £216 donated at Waitrose Sanderstead

Thu 21/03/19
We had another very successful collection at Waitrose Sanderstead on Saturday 16 March with 15 trolleyloads of goods and £216 being donated. Thank you Waitrose customers as always for your generosity. Our next supermarket collections are at Waitrose Coulsdon on 13 April and the Co-op Hamsey Green on 18 May.

Magnificent Seven swim 106 lengths and raise £1,670

Tue 05/03/19
What a team! Our ‘Magnificent Seven’ swimmers – aged from 10 to 81 – completed 106 lengths of Purley Pool to raise £1,670 in sponsorship at Purley Rotary Club’s Swimathon event on Saturday 2 March.

Well done everyone, we salute you: (top pic, at front) Jude and Betty, (middle) Ernest, Louise, Winnie and Terry, (back) Howard the team captain, and below: (left to right) Betty, Terry, Howard, Ernest, Winnie, Louise and Jude.

Meat and fish paste and tinned vegetables and fruit head March’s most-needed list

Sat 02/03/19
A further 2,000 meals were provided by the Food Hub in February to people going through hard times. These bring the overall total of meals to approaching 140,000 since we opened in 2013.

In March, the priority items needed are jars of meat paste and fish paste, tinned peas, carrots and pulses, such as kidney beans and chickpeas, and tins of dessert fruit. Also needed are jars of strawberry jam and raspberry jam, and cartons of long life fruit juice and small bottles of squash, and non-food items are unisex shower gel and disposable razors.

As always, thank you very much for your generous support.

February 2019

22 bags of food donated by generous shoppers at Co-op Kenley

Mon 25/02/19
Shoppers at the Co-op Kenley kindly donated 22 bags of food and toiletries and £55.85 in our collection at the store on Saturday 23 February. Thank you everyone – each item donated is always most gratefully received.

Our next collections are at Waitrose Sanderstead on 16 March and Waitrose Coulsdon on 13 April.

Nine items especially needed by the Food Hub in February

Fri 01/02/19
Food for just over 2,500 meals was provided by Purley Food Hub to people in crisis in January in a busy start to 2019. In the month that marked the Food Hub’s 6th birthday, it took the overall total of meals provided so far to past 135,000.

Our February food list has 9 priority items that are particularly needed just now, including tinned plain meat (chicken, ham corned beef) and ready meat meals and tins of carrots, peas and dessert fruit. Savoury biscuits and long life whole milk are also listed, along with adult toothbrushes and size 5 nappies. We are so grateful for everyone’s support.

January 2019

Waitrose Coulsdon shoppers donate 8 trolleyloads of food and £146

Mon 21/01/19
The collections we hold each month at local supermarkets are a major source of the food that we can give to our clients and their families. In our first collection of 2019 at Waitrose Coulsdon on Saturday 19 January generous shoppers donated the equivalent of 8 trolleyloads of food and toiletries, plus £146.45.

Thank you all very much – with big thanks too to the store’s staff and management. Our next collections are at the Co-op Kenley on 23 February and Waitrose Sanderstead on 16 March.

How you can get involved in helping the Food Hub

Mon 07/01/19
Our new How You Can Help leaflet highlights the various ways that people can get involved with Purley Food Hub by:

  • Helping with food collections at local supermarkets
  • Joining our team of volunteers
  • Encouraging your school/college, business or organisation to give support
  • Donating food
  • Giving money

For more details, you can phone us on 07546 635295 or email purleyfoodhub@gmail.com.

Peanut butter, honey, dried potato and tins of plain meat are our top needs in January

Tue 01/01/19
Jars of peanut butter and honey, packets of dried potato and tins of plain meat and ready meat meals head up the list of food items we need most for our clients in January 2019.

The January food list also includes tins of rice pudding and cartons of long life whole milk, along with deodorant, shampoo and small bottles of washing up liquid.

Thank you very much everyone.

December 2018

OUR BUSIEST EVER DAY AT THE FOOD HUB!

Sat 22/12/18
Today was the busiest ever day in the Food Hub’s six-year history. Thirty-nine clients attended and we provided food for a total of 113 people; at three meals a day for three days for each person, that’s just over 1,000 meals provided in the session. It took us past 30,000 meals overall in 2018, our biggest annual total since we opened in January 2013.

At the same time, 102 volunteers in 34 cars delivered 160 hampers, including a turkey and all the trimmings, to 160 people nominated by our food ticket partners as part of the Christmas Lunch On Jesus scheme. And last week 226 children received a gift and chocolate selection box through another Food Hub project, Toys For Joy.

We send heartfelt thanks and very best Christmas and New Year wishes to all of our clients, volunteers, friends and supporters.

Coloma come bearing Christmas food donations

Girls from Coloma Convent Girls’ School today kindly brought us 30 bags of food and toiletries collected by Years 9 and 12. Other recent donations of food and money have included from:

  • AIG Croydon (Personal Insurance UK Claims Team)
  • Caridon Property & Foundation
  • Coulsdon College
  • Keston Primary School
  • Optivo Croydon
  • SECOM Kenley
  • Southern Rail train drivers based at Selhurst and Norwood depots
  • United Airlines Heathrow
  • Wallington High School for Girls
  • Woodcote High School (who, as well as 30 boxes of food, also gave us £358 from their excellent ‘Spirit of Christmas’ concert on 6th December – plus £60 raised from a 40p donation for each charity Christmas card the school sent out)

We are extremely grateful for each and every single donation we have received during the year, however big or small – from schools and churches, businesses and organisations, and many individuals and families (including a lot of reverse Advert calendar donations). Thank you all very much indeed – we greatly appreciate your generosity.

26 trolleyloads of goods plus £330 from our collections at Waitrose

Mon 10/12/18
Enormous thanks to the customers, staff and management at the two Waitrose stores in Sanderstead and Coulsdon for their outstanding response to our collections in November and December.

At Coulsdon on 17 November we collected 8 trolleyloads of food and toiletries, etc, and £103 in cash, then at Sanderstead on 8 December we received 18 trolleyloads plus £227. This was on top of the donations we receive throughout the year in our collection box at Sanderstead. We are hugely grateful to everyone.

Milk, fruit juice and potatoes needed most in December – and Christmas treats

Sat 01/12/18
For the 9th month this year we passed 2,000 meals provided in a month in November – that’s more than 27,000 meals this year so far and more than 130,000 in total since we started nearly 6 years ago. To keep our stocks replenished for December, traditionally our busiest month of the year, our December food list includes requests for:

Cartons of long life whole milk and fruit juice, tins of potatoes or packets of dried potato, jars of fish paste, Christmas biscuits and chocolate treats for children. Also needed at this time are adult toothpaste, toilet rolls and tin openers. Thank you so much for your support.

November 2018

Tinned meat, potatoes, honey and long life milk head November’s food list

Fri 02/11/18
As we seek to maintain our food stocks in the busy run-up to Christmas, tins and packets of potatoes/dried potato, tinned chicken, ham & corned beef, jars of peanut butter & honey, and cartons of long life whole milk head the Food Hub’s list of items needed most for our clients in November. Other non-food items required are size 6 nappies, washing up liquid and tin openers. Thank you very much.

Churches and 30 schools lead response to our appeal for extra donations

Thu 01/11/18
Two months ago we were concerned because our food stocks had never been so low and we issued an urgent appeal for extra donations to replenish our shelves. Since then we have had a magnificent Harvest-time response with large donations from churches and schools, businesses and organisations, families and individuals.

We give enormous thanks for each and every donation received – as well as to our Food Hub volunteers: the Monday sorters and Tuesday shelf-fillers and the team of collectors/deliverers.

In total, 30 schools gave us food from their Harvest collections:

PRIMARY – Atwood Academy, Beaumont, Cumnor House Girls, Foresters, Gresham, Harris Academy Kenley, Heathfield Academy, Kenley, Keston, Laleham Lea, Margaret Roper Catholic, New Valley, Oakwood, Oasis Academy Byron, Park Hill Junior, Purley Oaks, Regina Coeli Catholic, Royal Russell Junior, South Norwood, St David’s St John’s CofE, St Nicholas, St Peter’s, The Hayes, Warlingham Park.

SECONDARY – Oasis Academy Coulsdon, St Giles, The John Fisher, Wilson’s, Woldingham.

THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!

October 2018

Ticket partners give presentations at the Food Hub’s AGM

Thu 18/10/18
Four of the Food Hub’s ticket partners gave well-received presentations at our AGM on Tuesday 16 October at Purley United Reformed Church: Sonia Meikle from Croydon Council’s Welfare Rights Team, Claire South of the Family Resilience Service, Inez Claus from Evolve Housing + Support and Peter Hall from Croydon Refugee Day Centre.

Fifty volunteers, friends and supporters attended the meeting and also heard from Dave Scott, our Client Support Volunteer/Befriender, and accounts of the Food Hub’s work from Ivanka Lennon, Chair of Trustees, and Helen Harris, Chair of the Management Committee.

Nick Pannell and Trevor Jones were appointed new Trustees, with Jim Beacom and John Stradling standing down. Please click here to see our 2017/2018 Annual Report.

Peanut butter, sugar, potatoes and tinned meat meals needed most in October

Mon 01/10/18
Huge thanks from everyone at Purley Food Hub for the superb response from local churches, schools, community organisations and families and individuals to September’s urgent appeal for extra donations to address our worryingly low food stocks. We are very grateful!

We still need to maintain and build up our stocks this autumn in the lead-up to Christmas – for example, our busiest ever August was followed in turn by our busiest ever September, with food for very nearly 3,000 meals provided – our fourth highest monthly total since we opened in 2013.

Our October food list includes requests for peanut butter, sugar, tinned/packet potato, tinned meat meals and tinned carrots and peas. Non food items that we especially need are children’s toothbrushes, washing up liquid and unisex deodorant.

September 2018

Waitrose Sanderstead shoppers donate 12 trolleyloads of food and £124.65

Mon 17/09/18
Generous shoppers at Waitrose Sanderstead donated 12 trolleyloads of food, toiletries and household items in our latest collection at the store on Saturday 15 September, plus 124.65 in our collecting bottles. Every item collected will go to local families and individuals experiencing hard times, referred to us by agencies throughout Croydon.

Our next supermarket collection is at Waitrose Coulsdon on Saturday 17th November, then it’s back to Waitrose Sanderstead for our Christmas collection on Saturday 8th December (both 9am – 6pm).

URGENT APPEAL for extra donations of milk, sugar, jam and ready meat meals

Sat 01/09/18
After our busiest ever August with 2,300 meals provided to people in crisis – and close to 20,000 meals this year so far – our food stocks have never been as low as they are currently. So, as we move into autumn and the build-up to Christmas, we are in urgent need of extra donations of food and toiletries…

Specifically on our September food list we are asking please for long life whole milk, small bags of sugar, strawberry and raspberry jam, tinned ready meat meals, tins of red kidney beans, jars of pasta sauce and packet soup. The list also includes small packs of tea bags, tinned dessert and rice pudding, packets of sweet biscuits and small bottles of squash. Non food items especially needed are washing up liquid and non bio washing tablets/sachets.

Thank you so much – we greatly appreciate and value everyone’s support.

August 2018

Long life milk, sugar, fish paste and tinned meat top August’s most wanted list

Fri 03/08/18
With over 17,500 meals provided so far this year to families and single people going through tough times, our food stocks are becoming concerningly low – therefore we are requesting extra help please to refill our shelves in August.

We especially need more donations of long life whole milk, 500g bags of sugar, jars of fish and meat paste, and tinned plain meat: chicken, corned beef, ham. Also on our August food list are tins of tuna, packs of 40 or 80 tea bags, chocolate treats for children, and sweet and savoury biscuits. Non food items particularly needed are non bio washing tablets/sachets, disposable razors, and adults’ toothbrushes. Thank you very much as always.

June 2018

We are so grateful for all the donations we receive

Thu 21/06/18
We are extremely grateful for all the donations of food, toiletries and money that we regularly receive from local churches, schools, uniformed organisations, Rotary and WI, and businesses, as well as from many mostly anonymous families and individuals.

Recent donations have included from:
29th Purley Beavers, 1st Purley Beavers, Sutton BNI, Residents of Reynard Court, Purley
Churches: St Peter’s, South Croydon; Woodmansterne Baptist; Croham Road Baptist, South Croydon; St John’s, Old Coulsdon; St Andrew’s, Coulsdon; St Antony’s, Hamsey Green; and St Mary Magdalene with St Martin, Addiscombe

Thank you everyone!

Three more highly successful supermarket collections

Mon 18/06/18
Our monthly collections at local supermarkets are a major source of food and toiletries, etc, for clients of the Food Hub, so big thanks to the customers, staff and management at these three stores following recent collections there:

  • Waitrose Sanderstead on 16 June – 11 trolleyloads of food, etc, plus £121.72 cash
  • Co-op Hamsey Green on 19 May – 30-plus bags plus £95.00
  • Waitrose Coulsdon on Saturday 21 April – 10 trolleyloads plus £109.99

Our next collection is at Waitrose Coulsdon again on Saturday 14th July, 9.00am-6.00pm.

April 2018

Thank you so much for your donations of food, toiletries, money…and Easter eggs

Fri 06/04/18
We continue to be very thankful for each and every single donation of food, toiletries and money that we receive. Recent donations have included…

Food from these churches: St John the Baptist, Purley; St Swithun’s Purley; All Saints, Kenley, St Aidan’s, Coulsdon; Coulsdon Methodist; St Gertrude’s, South Croydon; St Mary’s, Sanderstead; Montpelier, South Croydon.

Food from The John Fisher School, Purley – Challoner House are currently leading the inter-House competition for most food collected, with Bede still to come in May…

Easter eggs (and also food) from: Tesco, Purley, Caridon Property, Croydon, Croydon Jobcentre Plus, Friends of Grange Park, Old Coulsdon, 2nd Coulsdon Rainbows, 14th Coulsdon Brownies & 7th Coulsdon Guides, 3rd Kenley Guides.

Cash donations from: Woodcote High School – £303.50 from their Christmas Concert in December 2017; Croydon Dancing Club – £250.

Toiletries each month from: Infohealth Ltd who run two pharmacies in Chipstead Valley Road, Coulsdon.

On behalf of all the clients and their families that we serve, we are most grateful to you – and to many others also – for your generous donations.

March 2018

Waitrose customers donate 18 trolleyloads of food and toiletries

Mon 26/03/18
Customers at Waitrose Sanderstead donated an amazing 18 trolleyloads of food and toiletries, plus £120.64, in our latest collection at the store on Saturday 17 March.

Everyone was so generous on a day of extreme weather conditions: two people bought one of everything on our shopping list and someone else donated a whole trolleyful of goods. Thank you all, including our team of collectors who braved the snow, wind and cold…and the store’s staff who kindly kept them supplied with hot drinks!

Our next collections are at Waitrose Coulsdon on Saturday 21 April, at the Co-op Hamsey Green for the first time on 19 May and then Waitrose Sanderstead again on 16 June.

Super Swimathon team go great lengths for the Food Hub…!

07/03/18
Our Super Six swimmers – (left to right) Winifred, Howard, Betty, Robin, Terry and James – went to great lengths for the Food Hub in the Purley Swimathon on Thursday 1 March…in fact, a record 124 lengths!

They are also likely to have raised a record £1,500 in sponsorship, £900 of which will come back to the Food Hub from Purley Rotary Club who organised the annual event. Thank you Howard and team!

February 2018

Co-op Kenley’s very warm response on a very cold day

Tue 27/02/18
A big thank-you to customers and staff at the Co-op Kenley who kindly supported our food collection at the store on Saturday 24 February. Our team collected the equivalent of three trolleyloads of food and toiletries, etc, plus £58.56 – a very warm response on a bitterly cold day!

It followed another similarly successful collection at Waitrose Coulsdon on 19 January when shoppers donated eight trolleyloads of items and £125.49.

Each item collected at Kenley and Coulsdon is badly needed at a time when we are providing food parcels to increasing numbers of clients and their families in crisis. Our next collections are at Waitrose Sanderstead on Saturday 17 March, Waitrose Coulsdon again on 21 April and the Co-op Hamsey Green for the first time on 19 May.

Wren’s 5th birthday treat for the Food Hub!

Thu 08/02/18
When Wren Graham gave out the invitations for her 5th birthday party on 3 February, she asked her 40 young friends not to bring presents for her…but tins of food for the Food Hub. There was such a brilliant response that Mum Jo and great-aunt Mary (pictured with Wren) could hardly fit everything into our store cupboard!

Jo said: “It’s so lovely to see what happens when everyone comes together like this and Wren was super proud. I am just so chuffed that we had the chance to help out in a small way.” Big thanks to Jo and Wren!

January 2018

January sees 70 per cent increase in meals provided compared to a year ago

Wed 31/01/18
Traditionally January has been a ‘quieter’ month at the Food Hub – but not so this year. In total this month we have provided just over 3,500 meals to people in crisis, compared to just over 2,000 meals in January 2017 – an increase of more than 70 per cent. January 2018 has become our second busiest month since we opened 5 years ago…second only to December 2017.

December 2017

December is busiest ever month for Food Hub

Sat 30/12/17
During December we have provided 4,000 meals to nearly 450 people going through tough times – including 2,000 meals in the 3 extremely busy sessions immediately before Christmas.

It is our most ever meals provided in a single month and an increase of over 30 per cent on December 2016. In addition 135 turkey-and-trimmings hampers were delivered to needy families in the borough through our Christmas Lunch On Jesus scheme, and 200 children each received 2 toys through Toys For Joy.

Waitrose’s excellent support for the Food Hub!

Mon 11/12/17
Customers, staff and management at Waitrose’s Sanderstead and Coulsdon stores have truly excelled themselves for the benefit of the clients of Purley Food Hub.

On Saturday 18 November at Coulsdon our volunteers collected 9 trolleyloads of food and toiletries etc, plus £137.94 in cash. Then last Saturday (9 December) at Sanderstead we collected 15 trolleyloads and an amazing £378.25. And in between, the Community Matters box at Sanderstead raised £360 for our Christmas Lunch On Jesus scheme to provide Christmas hampers for needy families in Croydon. Thank you everyone – we are so very grateful.

We pass landmark of 100,000 meals in five years for people in crisis

Sat 09/12/17
Today at the Food Hub we provided our 100,000th meal since we opened five years ago. Since January 2013 1,969 clients have attended a total of 5,042 times and received food for 11,139 people.

Huge thanks to the many churches, schools, businesses, organisations, families and individuals who kindly donate food – and our volunteers who sort and date-stamp it, refill our shelves and serve our clients each Wednesday and Saturday.

November 2017

Donate one item a day through our Reverse Advent Calendar

Thu 30/11/17
Today we launch our Reverse Advent Calendar, inviting friends and supporters to put one item a day in a box or a ‘bag for life’ between 1 and 24 December and then bring them to the Food Hub from Tuesday 2 January between 9am-2pm Monday-Saturday.

October 2017

Bishop of Croydon is guest speaker at AGM

Sat 21/10/17
More than 50 volunteers, friends and supporters of Purley Food Hub attended our Annual General Meeting at Purley United Reformed Church on Tuesday 17 October. Guest speaker was the Bishop of Croydon, the Rt Rev Jonathan Clark, and there were brief presentations from Nigel Davidson of the CAP (Christians Against Poverty) Croydon South Debt Centre, Nigel Priory of Langley House Trust and Kat Hymas of Bromley & Croydon Women’s Aid.

Another eight school donations take total to 21

Fri 20/10/17
A further eight school Harvest food donations have kindly been delivered to us yesterday and today:

  • St David’s School, Purley
  • Regina Coeli Catholic Primary School, South Croydon
  • Margaret Roper Catholic Primary School, Purley
  • Beaumont Primary School, Purley
  • St Nicholas School, Purley
  • St Giles School, South Croydon
  • Oasis Academy Byron, Coulsdon
  • Oakwood School, Purley

It takes to 21 the number of school donations we have received during this first half of the autumn term – more than ever before. Thank you everyone so very much!

And thank you too to our dedicated teams of sorters and stackers who ensure that our shelves are kept filled ready for each Wednesday and Saturday session.

Grateful thanks to six more schools

Wed 18/10/17
We have gratefully received Harvest food from six more schools in the past few days:

  • Harris Primary Academy Kenley
  • Gilbert Scott Primary School, South Croydon
  • Kenley Primary School
  • New Valley Primary School, Purley
  • Old Palace School, Croydon – Hatton & Anselm Houses
  • Thomas More Catholic School, Purley

Again, many thanks to the students, parents and staff – your donations are making such a difference to the increasing numbers of struggling people and families coming to us for food.

‘Magnificent Seven’ schools donate their Harvest food

Thu 12/10/17
Huge thanks to the ‘Magnificent Seven’ schools who have given us food from their 2017 Harvest collections during the past three weeks:

  1. Royal Russell Junior School, Croydon
  2. Wilson’s School, Wallington
  3. Laleham Lea School, Purley
  4. Gresham Primary School, Sanderstead
  5. The Hayes Primary School, Kenley
  6. Keston Primary School, Old Coulsdon
  7. Cumnor House School School for Girls, Purley

We are so grateful to all the pupils, their families and the staff for your very generous support.

A warm welcome to the Robin Cubs…and the Lion Cubs to come!

Tue 10/10/17

We were delighted to welcome the Robin Cubs from Purley Baptist Church to the Food Hub on Friday evening 6 October. They brought several carrier bags of food donations with them and during their visit helped us sort not only their own tins, jars and packets but also a big Harvest collection received from Gresham Primary School just that afternoon.

Next day one of the Robins, Jessica (pictured), went to the supermarket with her mum Kirsten and, still ‘buzzing’ from her visit the previous evening, promptly took her own trolley, selected two of each of the items on our October food list…and paid for them herself at the checkout from her pocket money. Thank you Jessica and ALL the Robins!

Then a few days later we learned that James (pictured), one of the Lion Cubs also based at Purley Baptist Church who goes to Woodcote Primary School, had chosen the Food Hub as his charity to donate some money to.

His mum Claire said: “We looked at your list of items and went to Tesco. James chose all the products himself and wanted to add in cookies as a special treat for someone. It’s not much but as parents we are proud of him for making the choice and hope it can be a little help to another family.”

Thank you James – and we look forward to welcoming you and the Lion Cubs to the Food Hub in December.

September 2017

Thank you for 14 trolleyloads of food collected at Waitrose Sanderstead

Mon 18/09/17
Our collection at Waitrose Sanderstead on Saturday 16 September was another big success, with 14 trolleyloads of food and toiletries collected plus £206.49 in cash.

Thank you to all the customers who donated a grand total of 2,001 items, including: 163 chocolate treats, 144 jars of pasta sauce, 136 tins/cartons of tomatoes, 133 toilet rolls, 118 tins of fruit…and 4 toothbrushes and 2 tin openers.

Thank you too to the Waitrose staff and manager for all your support. We have two more collections coming up: on Saturday 18 November at Waitrose Coulsdon and Saturday 9 December at Waitrose Sanderstead again, both 9am-6pm.

August 2017

We pass 10,000 people fed and 90,000 meals provided

Mon 07/08/17
Sixteen clients attended Saturday’s session at Purley Food Hub and we provided food for them and 26 family members…and it meant that we passed 10,000 people fed and 90,000 meals provided since we opened in 2013.

Thank you to all of the churches, schools, businesses, organisations, families and individuals who have donated food and money to us over the past four and a half years – and also of course to our wonderful army of volunteers.

Many thanks to the young people from the National Citizen Service

Thu 03/08/17
We are hugely grateful to 12 young people from the National Citizen Service (NCS) for their support this week. After a fact-finding visit to the Food Hub a week ago, they raised £212 from a sponsored walk yesterday (Wednesday) – and this afternoon they collected 4 trolleyloads of food and other items plus £69.69 in cash from generous shoppers at Tesco Purley.

Tomorrow they are giving out our food lists and leaflets to increase public awareness and support. We will be exploring with them in the autumn how they might be able to continue supporting the Food Hub once they are back at their schools and colleges. In the meantime, thank you all very much – it was great to have you with us.

Food ‘flies in’ at Heathrow work collection

Wed 02/08/17
United Airlines employees at London Heathrow Airport – both landside and airside – kindly donated five large bagfuls of food and toiletries, etc, in a work collection organised by one of our new volunteers, Janine Staff.

Please get in touch if you are willing to arrange a collection at your workplace or school of college or among your neighbours and we will send you our latest food list, news update and other information to get you started…

July 2017

Nine trolleyloads and £135 donated at Waitrose Coulsdon

Wed 19/07/17
Customers at Waitrose Coulsdon kindly donated 9 trolleyloads of food, toiletries and other items plus £135.45 in our latest collection at the store on Saturday (15 July). In all, 1,842 items were donated during the day, among then 219 tins/cartons of tomatoes, 216 tins of baked beans and spaghetti, 164 toothpaste, 158 tinned fruit, 138 pasta sauce, 70 washing up liquid, 64 tinned meat – and 4 tin openers.

The items were delivered to the Food Hub on Saturday, sorted on Monday and put on the shelves on Tuesday…ready to give to the clients coming on Wednesday. Our next collection – by young people from the National Citizen Service – is at Tesco Purley on Thursday 3 August (12noon – 4pm).

New food collection point at Nationwide Building Society

Mon 10/07/17
Our big thanks to manager Tracey Holton and her team – Kiran, David and Kim – for setting up a Food Hub collection point at Nationwide Building Society’s branch at 918 Brighton Road, Purley. Customers and members of the public have been bringing in their food donations, including the gentleman pictured here presenting a shopping bag of items to Kiran.

June 2017

Excellent food collection at Waitrose Sanderstead on Saturday

Wed 19/06/17
We had an excellent collection at Waitrose Sanderstead on Saturday (17 June): 18 full trolley-loads of food and toiletries, etc, plus £248.95 in cash – one of our best-ever! In total, generous shoppers donated 2,549 items – including 169 tins of fruit, 126 packs of pasta/rice, 113 jars of jam, 108 cartons of milk…and 740 toilet rolls. These are all items we were short of. Thank you everyone.

Our next collection is at Waitrose Coulsdon on Saturday 15 July (9am-6pm).

‘Thank God for the Purley Hub’ say children from Oakwood School

Tue 06/06/17
We were delighted to welcome Year 6 children and staff from Oakwood School, Purley, to the Food Hub yesterday. They helped our volunteers with sorting food, stacking shelves and collecting food donations from Sainsbury’s Local, as well as learning more about the Food Hub’s work.

At the end of their visit, they said: “We have learnt so much. We have learnt that not all people are as fortunate as ourselves. Thank God there is the Purley Hub to provide families in need with food. We will surely spread the news about this fantastic charity.”

April 2017

Waitrose Coulsdon shoppers give eight trolleyloads of food plus £168

Wed 26/04/17
Customers at Waitrose Coulsdon donated 8 trolleyloads of food and other items and £168 in cash in our latest collection at the store on Saturday 22 April. Many thanks to everyone who contributed, and also the store’s staff and manager. Our next collection is at Waitrose Sanderstead on Saturday 17 June (9am-6pm).

New collection point for Food Hub donations

Mon 10/04/17
South West London Law Centre’s office in Croydon has become a collection point for food donations to Purley Food Hub. You can now take items from our monthly food list to the SWLLC office at Davis House in Robert Street, Croydon CR0 1QQ. Thank you, SWLLC!

March 2017

11 trolleyloads of food and £273 donated at Waitrose Sanderstead

Mon 20/03/17
Shoppers at Waitrose Sanderstead on Saturday 18 March gave the equivalent of 11 trolleyloads of food and toiletries, etc, plus an amazing £273 in cash – the most money we have had donated at any supermarket collection to date.

An enormous thank-you to the store’s customers, staff and manager for your support. We are at Waitrose Coulsdon next on Saturday 22nd April, 9am-6pm.

‘Super Six’ swimmers raise £1,000 at a stroke

Wed 08/03/17
Many congratulations and huge thanks to our ‘Super Six’ swimmers – left to right: Winifred, Jude, Howard, Terry, James and Rachael – who represented the Food Hub in the Purley Swimathon on Thursday evening 2 March. In total they completed 123 lengths of Purley Pool and raised around £1,000 in sponsorship.

February 2017

Waitrose Coulsdon shoppers donate 9½ trolleyloads of food and £85

Tue 28/02/17
Big thanks to the customers, staff and manager of Waitrose Coulsdon for their support of our collection there on Saturday 25 February: in total we collected 9½ trolleyloads of food and toiletries, etc, plus £85 in cash – thank you so much everyone.

Our next collections are at Waitrose’s Sanderstead store on Saturday 18 March and then at Coulsdon again on Saturday 22 April – both 9am-6pm.

Year 6 children visit from St John’s C of E Primary School, Shirley

Mon 27/02/17
A group of 11 children from Year 6 at St John’s C of E Primary School, Shirley, visited the Food Hub today. Bringing carrier bags of food donations, they helped our team of volunteers to collect food from Get Fired!, Café Blue and Sainsbury’s Local, sort the food collected at Waitrose Coulsdon on Saturday and then refill our shelves after a busy session on Saturday when 20 clients attended and we provided food for 44 people – a total of nearly 400 meals.

Thank you again Year 6 – we look forward to seeing the rest of the pupils before the end of the school year.

January 2017