Councillor Joe Plant donates £5,000 locality budget to support Whitby foodbank

An organisation supporting the needy and vulnerable in Whitby has said a heartfelt thanks after a £5,000 donation allowed them to continue their valuable work.

By Louise Perrin
Friday, 29th May 2020, 10:14 am

North Yorkshire County Councillor Joe Plant, who represents Whitby Streonshalh, donated £5,000 of his locality budget to Hope Whitby, an organisation which has been supporting the community for nearly 10 years.

Each councillor gets a locality budget of £5,000 to spend on supporting their communities.

Hope Whitby has Malachi Storehouse, a food bank which has provided more than 100 food hampers throughout lockdown to people in need.

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Pastor Bec Coates, left, who runs Hope Whitby, and volunteer Jane Le Blond

They also have a clothing bank and help with period poverty by providing sanitary products to those who need them.

They hold community gatherings and meetings around Whitby, which have taken place on Zoom during lockdown to ensure vulnerable members of the community feel supported.

The money will help them to replenish, restock and continue with the work they are doing through the rest of the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

Bec Coates, the pastor who runs Hope Whitby, said: “The donation will enable us not only to keep running now, but to provide our projects with longevity into the future.

“Our work with families where we see them face to face is incredibly important as it means we can ask them if they need help and they feel comfortable telling us.

“We make sure no-one slips through the cracks.

“We form relationships with people and make them feel comfortable as well as getting a flavour of how they are doing, which is harder to do during lockdown.

“It’s been good to cast our net further and help more people during the pandemic, but it has been challenging. We are there to serve people, to help people and make sure people don’t go hungry.

“The £5,000 will be massive in helping with that.”

Hope Whitby also works with the County Council Living Well team in Whitby, which works to reduce loneliness and isolation and to prevent or resolve issues, including preventing hospitalisation.

Cllr Joe Plant said: “At a time when people in the community need supporting more than ever, I saw no better place to donate the budget to.

“Hope Whitby helps to provide for the most vulnerable in our community at a time when they need it the most. I feel that it’s incredibly important that they have funds to replenish, restock and continue with the valuable work they are doing.

“To them I say a big thank you for everything you do.”