Observer Christmas appeal draws to a close

Simon Earl, Project Manager Bexhill Foodbank, picking up food donations from the Hastings Observer offices. Simon is pictured with reporter Laura Cooke. SUS-151222-102449001
Simon Earl, Project Manager Bexhill Foodbank, picking up food donations from the Hastings Observer offices. Simon is pictured with reporter Laura Cooke. SUS-151222-102449001
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The Observer’s Christmas Appeal has drawn to a close, with nearly 60 boxes of tins and packets of food collected to donate to local foodbanks.

The haul has been split between the Hastings Foodbank and Bexhill Foodbank, which has sub branches in Battle and Rye.

Just some of the food collected during the Observer Christmas Appeal SUS-151221-144243001

Just some of the food collected during the Observer Christmas Appeal SUS-151221-144243001

The campaign, which ran across all four editions of the Observer over several weeks, included a number of articles and features raising awareness of the need for foodbanks in Hastings and Rother.

As a result of the coverage, there has been an increase in donations of food and money to the Bexhill branch.

The foodbank has also seen a jump in the number of people offering to volunteer at the centre.

Simon Earl, project manager at the Foodbank, thanked all those who supported the Observer Christmas Appeal.

He said: “On behalf of the Bexhill Foodbank volunteers in all three centres at Bexhill, Battle and Rye, I would like to thank your staff, especially Laura Cooke, for the high profile you have given both our Foodbank, and Hastings as well, with your Christmas Appeal.

“We would also like to thank all those who have donated food and money as a result of the coverage.

“We experienced yesterday the busiest day of the year and are expecting Christmas Eve to be equally busy.”

Jeff Beale, Hastings Foodbank coordinator, said: “We have been absolutely overwhelmed with the generosity the people of Hastings and St Leonards have shown this Christmas across the board, and we are very grateful to the Observer for supporting Hastings Foodbank through their Christmas campaign.

“There are literally hundreds of people, including many children, who will have a better Christmas thanks to those who have so generously donated food for those facing crisis. Thank you very much.”

A number of businesses and community groups generously donated food items to the Observer Christmas Appeal.

Our star donors were the staff and students at Battle Abbey School, with the whole senior school bringing in a festive feast during the recent Christmas jumper day.

James Dennett, marketing manager at the school, said: “Battle Abbey School is delighted to support the Observer’s Food Bank Appeal.

“Community outreach constitutes an important part of the schools philosophy, and our pupils are encouraged to look beyond the school by regular fundraising.

“Our pupils have learned that not everyone in the world is as lucky as they are and that giving time, effort and money or all three, to help others is a very enriching experience.”

Donations also came from the Park Denture Practice in Eastbourne, Cobb PR, Hastings and Rother Samaritans, Raksha 3rd St Michaels Cubs in Bexhill, 3rd Hastings Brownies, Ishara Yoga in Bexhill and, last but by no means least, the editorial and advertising staff at the Observer.

Reporter Laura Cooke, who led the campaign, said: “We are so grateful to everyone who got on board and supported our appeal.

“We are proud to be able to support the amazing work of the Bexhill and Hastings Foodbanks.”

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