You need to be a member of Bedford U3A to join this group
|Group Leader:||Maria Guest - see Bulletin for telephone number|
|Time:||Last Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm|
|Venue/Location:||Wren Room, St Mark's Church, Calder Rise, Bedford, MK41 7UY|
|Vacancies:||New members welcome|
While the group is unable to meet one member has been very busy volunteering. Here is her report:
During the lockdown I have increased my volunteering hours at the Bedford Food bank. Before I retired I applied to be a volunteer. One week because of a bereavement I did 4 days (had Good Friday off) and I wondered how I ever managed to work 12 hours shifts as a nurse!
My usual day is a Wednesday but my day has been changed to Tuesdays & Fridays. It is very busy as expected and in March for the first time in the 8-9 years it has been in operation we fed over 1000 people, 1055 in fact of which over 400 were children. We are amazed at the generosity of the Bedford people and we have been very blessed with food & financial donation from a wide variety of people & firms.
My main role is to keep on top of the thank you letters. Due to Social Distancing we have much fewer volunteers in and we keep to the same days. We had an abundant Harvest last year, 8.5 tonnes of food! Every August I write to the lower & middle schools on a bright coloured paper and post these at the end of August ready for the new school year. Also at Christmas from the 2 Tesco superstores 3 day collection and peoples' generosity we have not run out of anything, even toilet rolls, like some other food banks have. We have been very low on some items but never ran out. 6 out of 7 distribution centres remain open.
These are places where the food is given out every afternoon. In the morning at the warehouse the food parcels are made up. However along with all this good news there has been some bad news but I am going to keep this repirt positive. We have a brilliant manager and no matter what happens she will say "no one has died". Her main concern is if one of the few volunteers gets the virus because we will hsve to clise and those in food poverty can't be helped.
I am in the planning stage of helping a girl in Biddenham achieve her Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award. Presently she is cleaning her neighbours' cars. But she will set up a street app each week to send out our most needed items that I will send to her. Then she will go to collect these on her bike and I will collect the total on my way to the food bank on one of my days. At the end of 6 months I will have to write a report.
I feel very fortunate that I have 2 days in my week when I can go to the food bank and feel that I am doing something worthwhile and for that I am very grateful.
We watch films from DVDs and sometimes from a VHS tape.
Films coming up are:
Programme of films will be listed when Coronavirus lockdown rules allow us to meet.