Ipswich charity FIND (Families in Need) has celebrated the opening of their new food bank this morning (5 February) with an official ribbon cutting. Community choir Pop Chorus entertained guests including local building firms, volunteers and corporate fundraisers who have all been involved in making the project a reality.
The new headquarters and food bank are a vital resource for the Ipswich community, enabling FIND to continue to support thousands of adults and children in poverty across Suffolk with food, furniture and household items. The charity, which is run entirely by volunteers, distributes over 100 food parcels every week, with more than 6,200 food parcels distributed in 2019 and the number is expected to increase in 2020.
Maureen Reynel MBE, founder of FIND, said: “We are thrilled to officially open our new food bank today and to celebrate this special occasion with all those who have helped this vital project become a reality – it truly would not have happened without their support, and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone.
“Our new home will help us cope with the rising demand of families, children and individuals who find themselves in poverty and crisis across Suffolk.
“FIND needs at least £100,000 per annum to run our services, which are delivered completely by volunteers, so today we are launching a new campaign to continue our fundraising.”
The build project for the new food bank premises, on the site of the old sports changing facilities next to Gainsborough Sports Centre, was led by Barnes Construction alongside Castons, MLM Group, Johns Slater and Haward Consulting, Hooper Architects, Kadec, CCAS and Survey Solutions. Instrumental in making the project happen have been Genesis PR, Ipswich East Rotary, Barker Gotelee, East of England Co-op and Hudson Signs.
PR and digital marketing agency Genesis launched and ran the FIND 50 Lifeline Appeal which succeeded in raising over £100,000 towards the new foodbank. They gave their expertise in updating the charity’s brand, building a new website, launching FIND on social media and supporting with free PR over the past three years.
As well as launching its appeal for funds to run its services FIND is searching for a warehouse to store furniture donations, which is needed within the next few months. Donated beds, cots, fridges and other essential household items are distributed regularly by the charity to help people in need.
Pop Chorus, a well-known community choir with over 300 members across Suffolk, has made FIND its charity of the year for 2020, pledging to raise £10.5k for the charity. The choir is offering to sing for businesses who are raising money for FIND. You can get in touch here.