Town Hall reflects on one year of foodbank donations.
Royal Sutton Coldfield Community Town Hall Trust, the charity which runs Sutton Coldfield’s Town Hall, is marking a year of collections of food for local food banks.
The Food Bank Donation Station, open twice a week in response to additional need during the COVID-19 crisis, is run by volunteer Terry Dockery, with support from the Town Hall’s team. It has collected over £50,000 worth of donations since opening its doors last March.
The collections began when other centres had to close due to volunteer shortages during the first lockdown in Spring 2020.
When shows at the theatre stopped on 15th March, the building went into partial hibernation, opening just for food and blood donations, and later in the year as a temporary dance school and examination centre. Since February 2021 it has operated as Sutton Coldfield’s central vaccination centre for the town’s NHS Group Practices, but has continued with collections of food twice a week.
The Town Hall’s Food Bank volunteers work with The Trussell Trust Foodbank Network, which runs Six Ways Baptist Church and George Road Church Food Banks in Erdington. It also supplies Sutton Baptist Church, Sutton Coldfield United Reformed Church and St James’ Church Mere Green. Food donated at the Town Hall is distributed to each of these centres to help those in need.
Food and household items are still urgently needed by all of these centres, as more families than ever are hit by the economic impact of the virus. On a Monday and Friday, 10am–2pm, locals can bring donations to the collection point at the far end of the town hall on foot. Alternatively, neighbours and businesses have clubbed together with donations, allowing larger loads to be brought by car to a loading bay at the side of the venue.
The Town Hall also launched Town Hall Tara’s Dog and Cat Food Bank in a response for more pet food support, using the venue’s own Staffordshire Bull Terrier mascot to lead the campaign. This has proved to be both successful and in constant demand.
Terry Dockery, the lead volunteer on the project said “Any non-perishable foodstuffs are appreciated, but our current priorities are toilet rolls, deodorants and soap, pasta, rice, feminine hygiene, sauces, drinks and tinned foods.” For more information and videos, donors are encouraged to visithere.