It has been a pleasure to work with Olwyn Bradley from Ollie B Clothes Shop in Saltburn who arranged to support us at the Saltburn Food Festival In August, a time when our stock levels of food are always at our lowest. Amazing along with help from others you donated about a £1000 worth of food for Redcar Area Foodbanks and Doorways Saltburn. I have included a piece from Olwyn to tell her story below.
Local businesses supporting local charities
At Ollie B, we love Farmers Market Saturdays – it’s not just an opportunity to entertain more customers, but also an excuse to serve fizz! What’s not to like about that? Having moved from Dundas Street to Milton Street just over a year ago, we were anticipating so much for the Food Festival in July – our first in the heart of the activity (though it wasn’t so bad being ‘on the fringe’ previously). However, as we all know, despite their best attempts, the organisers were up against the dreaded North East weather, and the Festival had to be massively scaled down.
As part of our plans, we had a vision to add some fundraising to the event, and felt it important to support local charities. With such a big focus on food, why not help those whose focus is the same, ie food? ….. so, we decided to support our local Foodbanks and also Doorways, based in Saltburn, who give food to some of the young people who turn up there in need.
We enlisted help from other local shops, bars and cafes, and put a Tombola together – £1 a go to choose an envelope – the generosity of our supporters in donating vouchers meant that the ratio of winners was high – winners were amazed to receive vouchers to exchange around the town for a whole range of goodies ….. % discounts, cash off purchases, surprise gifts, designer sunglasses, scented candles, lunch, hot drinks – you name it, we had it! And the busiest part of the shop on the day was the Tombola – no doubt fueled by copious glasses of fizz served to the envelope sellers!
When some of our customers heard what we were planning, they had no hesitation in jumping in to assist – a small group of ladies from Emmanuel Church decided to add to our efforts – from two other fundraising events, they gave us £430! We raised a further £530, which meant we were able to buy almost £1,000 worth of food!
So, in the face of adversity, together we pulled it off!
However, it is important to know that the local Foodbanks are under constant pressure – they cover Redcar & Cleveland, and have eight centers with 100 volunteers assisting every week. They have fed approximately 26,000 people since opening in 2013, 8,000 of whom are children. All donations come from the public and local businesses. The sobering thought is that our almost £1,000 worth of food will not last very long given the local needs… with Christmas on the horizon, they need more donations all the time just to give some families the basics.
So, if you want to help more, please do! You can find out about how the Foodbank works by visiting their website www.redcararea.foodbank.org.uk
Finally, we just want to say a massive ‘THANK YOU’ to the ladies from Emmanuel – and to all those local businesses who donated vouchers – Ripping Yarns, Book Corner, Real Meals, Cascade, Holly Blue, Taste, Wags & Whiskers, Brambles, Pineapple Interiors, Swine Dining and, of course, to all of you who had a dip!
Ollie B Saltburn