Schools' 'foodbank' gets £11k to feed Ipswich families

Copleston High School principal Andy Green and Angela Ransby, chief executive of the Raedwald Trust, with items bought...

Copleston High School principal Andy Green and Angela Ransby, chief executive of the Raedwald Trust, with items bought from the Suffolk Community Foundation grant to the Community Shelf - Credit: Copleston High School

Schools in Ipswich are to feed up to 200 families thanks to an £11,000 donation for a foodbank-style Community Shelf.

The Raedwald Trust, which runs several special schools in the town, and Copleston High School joined forces during the first lockdown to provide essential items to those facing financial challenges.

Hundreds of food parcels were delivered to families - but Copleston principal Andy Green said: "People's needs haven't gone away since then. In many ways, those needs have got greater.

"We did the Community Shelf in the first lockdown, when things were difficult - but things are probably tougher now that many people have lost jobs and been on furlough for longer."

So the schools have continued the Community Shelf to support those most in need - with Copleston and the Raedwald Trust sharing an £11,000 donation from the Suffolk Community Foundation.

The Community Shelf, run by Copleston High School in Ipswich and the Raedwald Trust, will support families in need

The Community Shelf, run by Copleston High School in Ipswich and the Raedwald Trust, will support families in need - Credit: Copleston High School

While the Raedwald Trust will continue to deliver packages with food and essential items to families' homes, Copleston has set up a foodbank-style room at its Foxhall Road site.

Every four weeks, eligible parents will be able to collect what they need.

Between them, the schools expect to be able to support 200 families - with Raedwald Trust chief executive Angela Ransby saying: "We do see extraordinary unmet need."

Mr Green added: "Parents have had children at home for a long time and have had to spend more on food. 

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"Some families have got really high needs. This is more than a foodbank - it is a distribution channel.

"It's about school communities realising they are not only responsible for things like exam outcomes, but actually far more than that.

"If families are able to access more food, that is going to be positive for mental health and wellbeing."

It is hoped the Raedwald Trust and Copleston High will get more funding to continue the project into the future.

Mr Green said that families who could benefit from the Community Shelf would be supported in a "sensitive and subtle way".

He added: "When they do receive help, families are incredibly kind and generous in their comments."

However, any Copleston or Raedwald Trust families who believe they need help fro the Community Shelf should approach their child's school directly.

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