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'Last year we fed over 4,000 people': Trust boosts Foodbank

PUBLISHED: 16:47 26 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:47 26 November 2019

Ben Parish, the Lowestoft Foodbank lead, receives a £10,000 cheque from Michael Cook, chairman of the Kirkley Poor's Land Trust, with other trustees. Picture: Mick Howes

Ben Parish, the Lowestoft Foodbank lead, receives a £10,000 cheque from Michael Cook, chairman of the Kirkley Poor's Land Trust, with other trustees. Picture: Mick Howes

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Deserving individuals and organisations, based within the boundary of the ancient ecclesiastical parish of Kirkley, have received a welcome boost.

Kirkley Poor's Land trustees and cheque recipients at the ceremony event in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick HowesKirkley Poor's Land trustees and cheque recipients at the ceremony event in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes

A charitable trust provided an early festive treat as 14 groups and organisations - representing hundreds of people within Kirkley - benefited as grants totalling £35,000 were distributed by The Kirkley Poor's Land Estate this week.

Among them was Lowestoft Foodbank, who received the largest amount of £10,000 at a ceremony held at the Hotel Victoria.

The map of the Kirkley Poor's Land Estate area. Picture: The Kirkley Poor's Land TrustThe map of the Kirkley Poor's Land Estate area. Picture: The Kirkley Poor's Land Trust

Ben Parish, the Lowestoft Foodbank lead, said: "We are really grateful for the money that the Kirkley Poor's Land Estate has given us.

"Last year we fed over 4,000 people, both adults and children, in Lowestoft and the surrounding areas.

"Primarily this money will go towards paying the rent of our storage facility, where we both store food and pack it before taking it to the distribution centres.

"So that money will pay for a year's worth of rent which is brilliant."

Mr Parish, who is part of the leadership team at Lowestoft Community Church, added: "As a charity we run the Foodbank in partnership with six other churches and Christian charities across the town.

"Currently, coming up to Christmas, we are particularly short of UHT milk, long-life fruit juice and tinned meat.

"It would be wonderful if shoppers would buy some extra food then donate it to the Foodbank supermarket trolleys at Morrison's in Pakefield, ASDA, Tesco in Gunton and Co-op stores."

Michael Cook, chairman of The Kirkley Poor's Land Estate, said: "This is the first time we have brought recipients of grants together as in the past they have just been sent a cheque by post.

"As well as handing over the money the main purpose of the gathering was to let people know what the Kirkley Poor's Land Estate is all about and what they can offer. "We are in the wonderful position of having a sum of money to hand out to people and groups who are within our boundary and who meet the criteria of the Trust.

"Our boundary is the ancient ecclesiastical parish of Kirkley, which doesn't exactly match up with Kirkley today, and a map can be found on our website www.kirkleypoorslandestate.co.uk

Background

The Kirkley Poor's Land Estate is a charitable trust that has been in existence for almost 200 years but it was not until 1967, when people were given the right to buy their houses that the trust began to have funds to award grants.

Lucy Walker, clerk to the Trustees for Kirkley Poor's Land Estate, said: "In 1820 when the Poor Laws were operating there was an Act of Parliament that created and gave the Kirkley Poor's Land Estate some land.

"Some of the land was first used for a soup kitchen and school.

"Later, houses were built on some of this land. When the Leasehold Reform Act came along giving people the right to buy their houses, all these properties were sold and the funds received were invested.

"The money that the Trust has just distributed is the income received from that investment."

Applications are available from December 1 for a £25 grocery voucher for anyone receiving a state pension and living within the ancient ecclesiastical boundary of Kirkley. The voucher application form will be available from Windsor Art Gallery shop in London Road South, The Kirkley Mill Health Centre, Kirkley Florist in Carlton Road and Nicholsons Solicitors in Alexandra Road, Lowestoft.

Beneficiaries

The ceremony at the Hotel Victoria this week saw cheques totalling £35,000 handed out to 14 groups and organisations - which will go on to benefit hundreds of individuals within the district of Kirkley.

Those sharing the £35,000 cheques were: Lowestoft Talking Newspaper - Sound East; East Suffolk Cruse; East Suffolk Association for the Blind; Kirkley Friendship Group; Salvation Army (Lowestoft South); Disability Advice North East Suffolk; Lowestoft Club for the Elderly (Over 60+); Fishermen's Mission; Shopmobility; Bursaries for Kirkley students at Lowestoft Sixth Form College and East Coast College - Lowestoft Campus; The Liberty Project; The Leaving Care Team and Lowestoft Foodbank.

The Trustees of the Estate consider the applications for grants for the relief of need, hardship or distress from organisations, individuals or students operating within the ancient ecclesiastical parish of Kirkley. For further information contact the Clerk of the Trustees on 01502 514964 or email kirkleypoors@gmail.com

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