Army cadets from across Derbyshire, including Bakewell, have entered into the Christmas spirit by collecting hundreds of items for food banks in the county.
The idea came from a cadet force volunteer who had to rely on food donations himself many years ago when he hit hard times.
Colour Sergeant John Allen, from the Chesterfield area, was given a carrier-bag full of Christmas food from a friend after he became unemployed in 1984 as a result of the miners’ strike.
With this in mind, and with Christmas coming up this year, John shared his story on Facebook. And heasked if a collection for local food banks, supported by the Derbyshire Army Cadet Force, would be a worthy thing to do to help those who have suffered because of many years of austerity in the UK .
Touched by John’s story of previous hardship, 32 detachments from around the county, spanning from as far north as Glossop to as far south as Long Eaton, jumped into action.
Throughout November and December, they have suspended their subscription fees of £1 a week and, instead, they have donated a host of non-perishable food items.
Charlotte Mendes-Kelly, who is the co-ordinator of Glossopdale food bank, thanked the cadets by presenting them with a certificate of appreciation.
She said: “Glossopdale food bank is lucky because we are well supported in our area. But there are many food banks that are not as fortunate, especially at this time of year.
“In total, in November 2019 alone, we served 2,304 meals for 155 adults and 101 children.”
The Army Cadet Force is one of the oldest youth organisations in the country, tracing its roots to 1859.
Its motto is ‘To Inspire, To Achieve’, and the organisation says it lives up to this by instilling various values and standards, such as loyalty, self-discipline and courage,in young people through the medium of military training.
Derbyshire Army Cadet Force is currently recruiting adult volunteers. With no experience necessary, you could gain qualifications and make a positive difference in a young person’s life.
If you are interested in joining the organisation, please visit the armycadets.com website.