With Foodbank use in Shepway having gone up over 100% in the last two week of March, year-on-year, and donations from our community understandably reducing due to COVID-19 and the lockdown, Francesca Aspey and Bradley Kilgariff from Hawkinge Town FC came up with an absolutely ingenious idea to help Shepway Foodbank get donations in, whilst adhering to Social Distancing measures and keeping everyone safe. They came up with the idea of a drive-thru donation point. But they didn’t just come up with the idea; they made it a reality and in less than 3 days!
They had the idea on a Saturday night and the drive-thru was open on the following Tuesday at 10 am. They had gained permission to host a 3-day collection at Hawkinge Town FC, organised how it would run, sourced PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and organised a volunteer team who gave over 60 hours of their time to man (and woman) the operation. In addition to this, when contacted by people who also wished to donate but were at work during drive-thru opening times, they immediately extended one of their collection days and put a fourth day in place for an early evening collection to accommodate this.
Donors, having put their donations in their car boot, could then simply drive-thru the car park and these donations would be collected from their boot by a volunteer in PPE without them even having to get out of their car. Just genius!
It proved extremely popular with local residents, who themselves have been extraordinarily generous, donating a massive 1,565 items over the four days, weighing in at 562Kgs (88 stone). It has been so popular they are now trialling having their Drive-thru every Monday at 4.30 pm-7.00 pm throughout May, and if this proves successful they will extend it.
As if this wasn’t enough, they also took financial donations of £50.20, which was then matched by Hawkinge Town FC, Paul Brazier/Brazier Bros Plastering and Hawkinge Town Ladies, quadrupling the amount to an amazing £200.80.
We collected all the donations on Monday and they had one more surprise for us, Bradley along with Jack, Frankie and Ben also all chipped-in to reward the Foodbank Volunteers with cupcakes and drinks which they have passed on to the Foodbank Manager to thank the Foodbank volunteers for everything they’re doing for people at this time. What an extremely thoughtful gesture.
These donations will help so many people in our community, who are currently in desperate need of basic food to feed their families and we cannot thank everyone enough who gave their time, money and food donations for the good of others.
Our youth / young adults are an amazing generation and what a fantastic team they have made. We are so impressed with their drive and initiative and are extremely humbled at what they have achieved in such a short space of time.
This is what makes Britain Great.