2020… wow what a year!
The start of the 1st national lockdown in March 2020 meant a lot of changes for Second Helpings. While we had to shut our Saturday Café and close the community fridge, there were also lots of great positives; with the bunker moving upstairs into the church hall to enable more customers to visit us safely, more surplus food provided by local suppliers donated than ever before, more volunteers serving guests in the bunker more days a week and for longer hours, our cooks have been in the kitchen 4 days a week making takeaway meals to be distributed through the bunker and a new partnership with Support Our Stamford.
Over 2020 Second Helpings prevented 87,424kgs of surplus and donated food from going to landfill. This food was redistributed to 13,920 guests to our bunker and cooked into 10,861 takeaway meals. Well done to everyone who helped make this happen.
A Message of thanks from The Second Helpings Management Committee to everyone who was involved in our biggest ever Christmas day meal.
With time to reflect and de-brief after Christmas it has become increasingly apparent just how much hard work, commitment and dedication went in to ensuring that Christmas was delivered to some 270 people in and around Stamford.
Thanks are due first to Pauline Spiers for her vision and incredibly hard work over several weeks to plan and co-ordinate a huge operation. Without her organisational skills it simply would not have happened.
Then, our small army of volunteers (with apologies if anyone has been missed …) -
Dani and Alison - who made it all possible in spite of problems with the new cookers and Debs for her Diabetic Xmas pud
Viv Middlebrook, Millie Middlebrook, Julie White and Richard Shamsi for veg prep and lots of other supporting tasks
Chantal Radley - for coordinating SOS
Paul Dunn who tirelessly sorted all the food that came into the bunker on Christmas eve
Trish Petitt and Nuala McCalister – managing the treat bags and presents and coordinating cooks plus lots of support on numerous days.
Fiona Parker and María Jameel - helping in the bunker and contacting people on time slots
Rhea, María and the bunker volunteers who collected names, dealt with collections and made sure we were Covid-19 compliant, sourced food for the treat bags and helped with presents along with Elizabeth Edgar, husband , daughter and friend who between them packed food bags and deliveries on Christmas Day as well as sourcing veg and loads of pressies.
Nicola Eastwood who packed and controlled deliveries on Christmas day
Tiffany (SOS), Paul McCormack, Rachel Bush, Alison Stimson, Marie Pears, Jenny Marshall, Celia De Blasi, Jan Simmonds, all of whom made deliveries on Christmas day
Jo Kemp and husband, for ordering all of the goods and containers etc, cleared up remaining food in the kitchen and helped put deliveries in cars as well as delivering meals
Caroline La Niece for all the comms and handling all the queries/ emails with Pauline Spiers
Darnley Rayside for designing the Christmas day meal posters
Richard Cleaver and Bill Anderson for Zoom and You Tube and updating the website including the online application form
Audrey for being around to support, letting us into the Church and helping on raffle tickets, packing, food guidance sheets, lids etc
Robin, Colin and Adrian who worked their socks off fetching and carrying.
There was an amazing atmosphere the whole way through and we have received lots of thank you notes and cards, showing just how much you were all appreciated. We hope that Christmas 2021 will see the Café in operation again but, who knows? Christmas 2020 was another ‘First’ for our Second Helpings family. We learned a lot and enjoyed it all. Thank you!
Andy Fyall, Audrey Hensman, Pauline Spiers, Jo Peck, Jo Kemp, Rhea Rayside, Caroline La Niece, Elizabeth Edgar, Sarah Nottidge and Steve Wilkinson
Welcoming Jo Peck, Head of Volunteers, to the Second Helpings Committee
I believe passionately in Second Helpings’ mantra of ‘feed bellies not bins’ and I love that Second Helpings’ work uses food that would otherwise go into landfill. Anyone who is interested in the ethos of this charity is able to benefit from the food, whether as groceries to go home or as the meals prepared by the team, regardless of their own personal circumstances.
As Head of Volunteers, I plan to work closely with the people already involved in Second Helpings, to support in coordinating volunteers for the bunker, the kitchen and the café, when it opens once again.
Before moving to Stamford, I worked for five years with the Ealing Churches Winter Night Shelter, helping provide food, accommodation and hope to more vulnerable members of our society and would like to contribute in some way now that we are located here.
I welcome any thoughts and suggestions from those of you already supporting Second Helpings and I really look forward to working with you all. Please feel free to contact me, at any time, on 07515 729970 or email@example.com.
Mercury Business Awards
Fantastic News! Second Helpings has won Best Social Enterprise in the 2020 Mercury Business Awards. This is a great accolade to all our volunteers who have supported Second Helpings over this very challenging year. A huge thank you to all our local suppliers who have donated their surplus food, which has enabled us to continue to “feed bellies not bins” by redistributing this food to our community through our bunker.
Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 restrictions there is no glitzy awards ceremony this year but we look forward to receiving our award and displaying it safely at the bunker soon.
During the last two months of 2020, the kitchen was gutted and upgraded with brand new stainless steel catering quality fixtures and fittings and new equipment including ovens and extractor unit, work tables, microwave and fridge, which will enable Second Helpings and other community organisations using the church facilities to cater for their group meetings and prepare restaurant quality meals.
To enable the kitchen upgrade Stamford Methodist Church and Second Helpings is very grateful of the support of ALLCHURCHES TRUST, Rotary Club of Stamford, St Martin's, The Harry Skells Trust, Lincolnshire Community Foundation, The Laing Family Trust and South Kesteven Community Fund. Yim Kong President of the Rotary Club of Stamford St Martins said: “The RCSSM is delighted to support the Kitchen upgrade project which will bring many and long-lasting benefits to some of our local communities most in need in these difficult times, whilst reducing the potential food waste from our supermarkets.” ” Patricia Stuart-Mogg, Town Clerk, Stamford Town Council said: “The Skells Trust was delighted to be able to assist by providing a grant of £3,000.00 towards the refurbishment of their kitchen to meet commercial standards. The support Second Helpings continues to provide is hugely appreciated by the Stamford community at large.”
The refurbishment has now been completed, with the volunteer cooks already using the fantastic new facility to prepare takeaway meals 4 days a week. The new kitchen is going to make every aspect of cooking 100% more enjoyable and is already enabling the cooks to keep the cooking space clean and efficient, and most importantly enjoy the time in a gleaming and top end facility!
Second Helpings Partnerships
Since May 2020, Second Helpings has partnered with Support Out Stamford (SOS) to distribute cooked takeaway meals in the community for those who need them. Support Our Stamford started to help anyone in need during the Covid-19 pandemic and now has dedicated teams of volunteers and coordinators in place. Every week, Second Helpings cooks prepare the meals and SOS organise delivery of these to those at home due to ill health or vulnerability. We are told that the people who receive the meals every week really enjoy them and welcome seeing a friendly face bring these to their door each week. On average, we have delivered between 60-100 meals every week since May.
In February 2021 we are re-establishing a funded partnership with The Evergreen Care Trust, as part of their ‘Hot & Wholesome Meal’ delivery service. Each week our cooks will be preparing tasty nourishing soups and traybakes for 12-20 elderly or vulnerable people in our community, who have been referred through Evergreen Care Trust.
A massive thank you to all the businesses, organisations and individuals who have donated. To ensure our cooks are able to continue to make a selection of delicious meals there has been an increase in the amount of store cupboard essentials, meat and takeaway containers and we are very grateful for the donations which have enabled us to cook 4 days a week as well as purchase essential PPE and cleaning equipment for the bunker.
A special thank you to farmer John Pike from Yarwell, who kindly donated a large number of delicious free-range eggs to Second Helpings. These were hugely popular with everyone at the bunker and were enjoyed by many in our community.
|Personal donations received with thanks
|Stamford Labour Party- Christmas Quiz
|Lincs Food Partnership/Bishop Grosseteste University
Many thanks from all the management team.