Ipswich food bank charity Families in Need (FIND) has moved a step closer towards moving into a vital £100,000 new home amid growing demand for its services thanks to a generous donation from Ipswich Round Table.
FIND requires new headquarters for its food bank in Ipswich and has launched the £100,000 FIND 50 Lifeline Appeal to sign up 50 businesses, individuals, schools and other organisations to each pledge to raise £2,000 towards the initiative.
Ipswich Round Table was one of the first supporters of the campaign, which has been backed by the Ipswich Star, East Anglian Daily Times and BBC Radio Suffolk.
The Round Table’s traditional festive fundraiser Rudolph Run, which has raised tens of thousands of pounds and entertained generations of children since 1970, has resulted in a £2,000 donation for FIND 50.
In addition, Ipswich Round Table has donated much-needed household goods worth another £5,500 in total, ranging from beds and mattresses to microwaves, washing machines, kettles and toasters, thanks to the Rudolph Run.
Tony Cheung, former chairman and current member of Ipswich Round Table, said: “It is a privilege to be able to help FIND get new premises thanks to the great support we receive from the good people of Ipswich, who love the tradition of watching Rudolph pulling a sleigh through our streets and providing some festive cheer. Rudolph is coming up to his 50th birthday and is still going strong thanks to his army of volunteers and local businesses.
“FIND 50 really is an important appeal and it’s not just at Christmas when they have to service the town. The demand on their services has increased dramatically in the last two years and they really need new premises. It’s a massive headache for them and shows just how tough it is for some people, of all ages and backgrounds. It’s a huge task and we need to try and help them as much as we can.”
The donation of £2,000 from Ipswich Round Table brings the total raised so far by FIND 50 fundraisers to £20,500 since the project launched in March this year. With the help of Ipswich Borough Council, a new site has been identified for FIND but at least £100,000 is needed to convert it into suitable premises.
Maureen Reynel MBE, founder and Board Chair of FIND, said: “We are hugely grateful for the fantastic donation from the Ipswich Round Table for our FIND 50 Lifeline Appeal. We hope that more companies, schools and groups will come forward and announce FIND as their charity to help us reach our £100,000 fundraising target so we can continue providing support to individuals and families in desperate need across Ipswich.”
FIND was established nearly 30 years ago by Maureen Reynel MBE in response to the growing need for food parcels for people in poverty and crisis. Demand has risen year on year and the charity, manned by over 100 local volunteers, works closely with social services and local agencies, who refer people to FIND who are in crisis and without basic provisions.
FIND provides over 70 food parcels per week (over 5,000 each year) along with personal care items. FIND also provides furniture, bedding and household items where a person or family has none. A third and little-known area of its work is supporting rough sleepers, for example with warm clothing and food parcels and by helping secure them temporary accommodation until permanent housing can be arranged.
Genesis PR has been running the FIND 50 campaign and is giving its services pro-bono to the charity for the second year. The team are also taking part in a number of fundraising activities.
Penny Arbuthnot, director at Genesis PR, said: “FIND is an incredible charity which is helping people in crisis and despair every week. The team at Genesis is 100% behind this campaign.”
To find out more about FIND 50, please see here.
Donations of non-perishable food items and toiletries can be made to any local participating East of England Co-Op, Waitrose at Futura Park and Sainsbury’s at Warren Heath.