Wirksworth school set up food bank for struggling families

Staff at a Wirksworth school have set up a food bank on site so they can distribute supplies to pupils’ families who are struggling financially during lockdown.

Friday, 30th October 2020, 12:52 pm

Anthony Gell School (AGS) in Wirksworth spent the half term collecting and distributing food and toiletries to local families after concerns were raised by staff that some families were experiencing severe financial hardship.

The need for food banks is on the increase, but access to some families can be limited due to the referral process.

The school is among the Matlock and surrounding community who have come together to help support families who are struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.

Staff the school set up a food bank
Staff the school set up a food bank

Head of pastoral care, Rachel Pickford, said: “We are in regular touch with our vulnerable families and we felt some practical help was something that could really make a difference in these difficult times.

"This is part of the help we have continued to give throughout lockdown to our students.

The response from people and local shops and businesses in Wirksworth was impressive, with enough food and toiletries being donated to give more than 100 families a helping hand over the half term.

Malcolm Kelly, headteacher of AGS, said: “The wonderful Wirksworth community came together to support our young people and their families.

"I am proud of what we have achieved and the difference we have made.

"We are at the heart of our community, and feel privileged to be able to help in these difficult times.”

The school also received more than £1,100 in donations.

Holly Walker-Riggott, school business manager, said: “This isn’t a problem that is going away soon, and we are going to use this money to start a more permanent system to help struggling families through holiday periods; creating a lasting legacy so that our school community will continue to be supported in any way we can.”

Anyone who wants to donate can do so by contacting [email protected] and the school will get back to you with details.

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