Bettws Community Website

                       Bettws is the Bee’s Knees 


St David’s Church Community House, 1,Tone Close, Newport. NP20 7AT

01633 856623


Page 1 Food Bank                      Page 2 Befriending/Mentoring Programme

Volunteer Co-ordinator -

St David’s Community House, 1, Tone Close - 0754 943 2878

Raven House Trust

Helping Hands on Facebook

Update on the Food Bank - May 23rd 2012

First of all we need to pay tribute our volunteers who have faithfully stuck to their commitment since we first opened the Food Bank. Progress has been spectacular. Helping Hands didn’t start until January 31st, and the Food Bank is just over two months old. The most important thing is our presence - helping the most vulnerable in our community.

If the Food Bank was not operating their needs might have gone unnoticed. There were no immediate queues, but the community’s trust is building up. So, thank you for all your patience and commitment.

We did wonder whether some would take advantage and abuse it. However, the opposite is true. People are shy about coming forward to claim from it. Since the beginning we have had more than 40 clients (which equates to perhaps 80 - 100 children and adults).

Last week we talked with some local schools, etc. Don Close Nursery thinks that some people who have children in their school would certainly qualify - eg one partner suddenly leaving another with all the child care and household bills needs the help we can give. Pam has talked to the Head about this and has also talked about cookery demonstrations, to show parents what can be done with one of our food parcels.

Jan, the Communities First Youth Worker, asked if the Food Bank could provide food for the current Alternative Sixth Form students. Apparently six young people among the group they are tutoring arrive hungry because they have irregular meals - so she is cooking with them at lunch time.

We’ve also talked with the Newport High School Inclusion Unit at Bettws in Bloom. They think they can identify some parents to refer to us. They also said that last year a large local bakery used to supply them with bread (and other stuff) so that the young people would have something to eat when they arrived hungry. However the bakery closed and was taken over by another company, so that stopped. We said that we would certainly be willing to supply loaves (about 12 a week) They can get them as they need them from the local baker (support local trades people - that’s very important!) and we will pay for them. They will want to do this next autumn and winter.

Pam is visiting referrers’ staff meetings to explain about our service and to show them the items people get in food parcels. They were impressed with those.

The work has depleted the stocks and we shall be pulling more in from Raven House - and there are some substantial donations coming as well….

You will notice that this is already spilling over into what we had thought of as the next phase - the Befriending Project. We’ve contacted WCVA as part of Communities First (we are working with them and they are still supporting us so well) for details for how Pam can become the registered person to submit online CRB checks - which are necessary for those working with vulnerable adults and young people. Some people will have these from their own Church - and as we have representatives from our four Churches on the main Koinonia committee, it is a creature of all of those Churches, so I think we can regard those people as already checked…… We haven’t heard back from WCVA, so we’ll chase them up this week.

Mark has a Befriending Course which he has used effectively before - so we shall be looking at that shortly - as well as at visiting projects that are already running, although it seems that events may overtake us…..

We shall also have to think about the future of the premises. The house belongs to St David’s Church and one of the main ideas behind Koinonia was to have the Church project to provide a base and to run alongside Bettws Communities First and other community organisations. It’s a bit vague at the moment, but Bettws Communities First may move out to its own larger premises, where they can have space to run some of their programmes (that will be fantastic - there would probably be room for the Food Bank, but is would not be in the centre of Bettws). At present St David’s receives around £5000 income which pays for the maintenance on the house (last year and this year) - so we’ll have to consider what Koinonia wants to do - as well as what St David’s and the other Churches want to do. However, we will need a base for Koinonia – Helping Hands, for the Food Banks and the developing work.

Bettws Food Bank

Monday – Friday 1pm – 2pm, St David's Community House, 1, Tone Close Bettws. Telephone: 07549432878

Closed Bank Holidays