Online petition launched to support Ipswich foodbank FIND in its search for a new venue

Volunteers from Families in Need (FIND) are packing the Christmas food and gift boxes ready to be de

Volunteers from Families in Need (FIND) are packing the Christmas food and gift boxes ready to be delivered for Christmas. - Credit: Gregg Brown

An Ipswich teenager who claims the town’s foodbank played a “vital role” in turning her life around has launched a petition to support its search for a new venue.

Volunteers Emily Roddie and Mama Bourouis work on sorting donations at FIND Foodbank in Ipswich.

Volunteers Emily Roddie and Mama Bourouis work on sorting donations at FIND Foodbank in Ipswich. - Credit: Su Anderson

FIND (Families in Need), which fed a record 5,500 people during 2016, has been told it must vacate its Hines Road premises by February 14 – so a search is underway for a new space.

The service helped Emily Roddie, 18, back on her feet after a four-month hospital stay a few years ago. Her petition, which has so far collected more than 600 signatures, pledges support for the new move.

FIND owner Maureen Reynel is adamant the service will not close – but hopes the petition will raise awareness of what the foodbank does and how many people it helps. She said: “If I have to run the foodbank from a tent I will, but I know it will not come to that. We are in talks with Ipswich Borough Council and are viewing a new premises later in the week. I am sure we will find somewhere but it is nice to see how much we are valued and how many people feel strongly about saving the foodbank.”

Regular volunteer Ms Roddie hopes her petition will reach 1,000 signatures soon. She said: “I am sure we will find somewhere new but I want to give something back after the help FIND gave me.

Volunteers from Families in Need (FIND) are packing the Christmas food and gift boxes ready to be de

Volunteers from Families in Need (FIND) are packing the Christmas food and gift boxes ready to be delivered for Christmas. Pictured is Maureen Reynel. - Credit: Gregg Brown

“I was in hospital for four months and after I came out Maureen set me up in a supported living flat with a TV, chairs and tables and enough food for two weeks.

“It played a vital role in helping me and I want to help her in return.”

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The petition has also been supported on social media by the Teapot Project.

To sign it, click here.

Volunteers from Families in Need (FIND) are packing the Christmas food and gift boxes ready to be de

Volunteers from Families in Need (FIND) are packing the Christmas food and gift boxes ready to be delivered for Christmas. Left to right, Hannah Davies and Tracey Allen. - Credit: Gregg Brown