‘Things aren’t getting better’: Fears for future of Mansfield foodbank

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The project manager of a Mansfield foodbank says volunteers are needed to secure the future of the much-needed service.

Keith Hadfield has been the project manager at the Sherwood Forest Foodbank since August 2017, and will leave the post at the end of April.

He says more volunteers, and a new manager is needed, so that the foodbank, at the Stable Centre, Mansfield Woodhouse, can continue to provide a vital service.

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The foodbank fed 6,640 people in 2019 – an increase of almost 64 per cent from 2017.

Keith Hadfield.Keith Hadfield.
Keith Hadfield. | JPIMedia

Keith said: “None of the tasks I do are difficult, it’s just finding the time to do it.

“The foodbank needs a volunteer project manager willing to put in 10 to 20 hours a week. The volunteers at the centre are a great bunch.

“I will be sad to leave, but we need to plan for the future of the foodbank – things aren’t getting any better, no doubt it will still be here in years to come.”

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Councillor Marion Bradshaw, portfolio holder for housing at Mansfield District Council, said: “We are in direct contact with the project manager and are exploring ways that we can support the foodbank.

“We have already been in contact with Mansfield CVS and are working with them to help recruit more volunteers, particularly those with specific skills and experience.

“This includes people who can help with financial responsibilities including fundraising and applying for grants as well as general admin, stock management, and governance arrangements such as updating policies and procedures.”

A spokesperson from the Trussell Trust, the charity that runs the foodbank said: “We are continuing to work with Sherwood Forest Foodbank in order to look at the myriad of options available to recruit a Project Manager before the current manager leaves at the end of April.

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“Currently, access to emergency food and signposting support will remain unchanged.”

If you feel you have the skills to recruit and train volunteers, liaise with referral agencies and develop relationships with supermarkets, please email [email protected].

The foodbank often struggles with stock levels after Christmas. You can donate at Tesco Oak Tree Lane, Asda Forest Town and Morrison’s Mansfield Woodhouse.