Food bank appeal launched in Sutton Coldfield

Youth theatre pitches in to help food bank project.

Sutton Coldfield Musical Youth Theatre has launched an appeal to help Sutton Coldfield Town Hall’s food bank donation point which has been running at the venue since the start of lockdown. The Town Hall, in King Edward’s Square, switched from hosting entertainment to helping those who have been struggling to put food on the table once shows were closed in March.

The entrance hall of the heritage building is being used to collect donations from locals on a Monday and Friday. New features of the project include free coffee or tea for donors, a ‘support local businesses’ idea and charity stalls on a Friday.

While unable to rehearse, SCMYT decided to help the town hall in its efforts with a campaign to raise as much money as possible for the food bank. Food bank leaders have indicated that local centres could be under more pressure in the coming weeks and months, as more families are hit by the economic impact of the virus.

The Town Hall has been a major support to the award-winning youth theatre since it started almost two years ago, and it is the venue for both SCMYT’s performances and rehearsals. Now SCMYT wants to do something to support those that support it. They have launched a JustGiving page to raise money for food and toiletries for local foodbanks.

Sarah Clarke, SCMYT chairman, said, “What the Town Hall has done to help people in Sutton Coldfield through the current pandemic is fantastic and demonstrates how much it truly cares about the local community.

“The Hown Hall and its patrons have always been so supportive of our youth theatre and we cannot thank them all enough. Knowing what the town hall was doing during lockdown, and following a suggestion from one of our youth theatre parents, we decided to launch a fundraising campaign to give something back to the community by giving the food banks a boost.”

The youth theatre appeal has already raised over £100 and the group thanks people for their generosity so far. It plans to shop for the food banks once it has raised £300 and hopes that the money will enable them to buy essentials for Sutton families who really need assistance.

Sarah added “We know that the last few months have been very hard for so many people and some will struggle for months to come, but we hope that by raising as much money as possible for the food banks, the Town Hall will be able to buy more supplies and help even more people.”

Town Hall Managing Director Julie Rennison added “This gesture is typical of this group, who create such magnificent work on stage. To put their energy into helping others at a time they are not performing is a really positive thing to do. We’d ask anyone who can help to donate to the page.”

Anyone who would like to donate to SCMYT’s appeal to help Sutton Coldfield Town Hall’s food bank can do so through JustGiving. For those wanting to donate long-life food or toiletries in person, the entrance hall is open on Monday and Friday, 10am to 2pm. Donations are collected by two centres in Erdington and two in Sutton Coldfield. Fresh produce including allotment produce is used by a further Foodbank canteen in Four Oaks. For further information, a short film about the project can be found on the Town Hall’s Facebook page.