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Letters: A Christmas thank you to our food bank donors

SIR - As the recently appointed chair of the New Forest Basics Bank food bank, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all within our community who have gone over and above the call of duty to help us through this year.

Without the kindness and generosity of those who donate and volunteer, we would not be able to assist those across the New Forest who struggle on a daily basis.

This year has been a particularly challenging year as we forge ahead with our planned expansion into new premises.

We finally reached our target and have pushed the button on the new building, which we shall hopefully be in a position to occupy in the spring of 2020.

Local businesses and private individuals have been exceedingly generous with their donations, and the churches across the region have pulled together to help make it a reality.

I am blessed with a strong team of trustees who carry the same vision of unity and positivity. We exist only to assist those in crisis who have nowhere else to turn. It is important that we get urgent food parcels to the client, and without our team of volunteers we simply wouldn't be able to do this.

Whether it is parcel for a family of six or a single person of no fixed abode, we are a dependable charity who can make that difference between survival and abject misery.

We work closely with agencies across the county to ensure those who need assistance receive it, and whilst we would be very happy if there was no need of a food bank in our society, the facts are there is a great need, and with that situation being as it is, we are lucky that we are able to pull together across all the agencies to find the best way to help those in crisis.

I would like to thank everyone who has helped or donated, whether it is donating food items, or donating their time. I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Oliver Stanley, Chairman of New Forest Basics Bank

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