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December 3rd 2021

Personal Injury

Helping Hull’s food banks meet ‘huge demand’ as more than 500 people a week turn to them for vital support

Samuel McFadyen

Samuel McFadyen

Associate, Personal Injury

Helping Hull’s food banks meet ‘huge demand’ as more than 500 people a week turn to them for vital support

Members of Hudgell Solicitors’ personal injury team are helping ensure food banks across Hull can meet increasing demand by volunteering to hand out much needed donations.

Members of Hudgell Solicitors’ personal injury team are helping ensure food banks across Hull can meet increasing demand by volunteering to hand out much needed donations.

Our team were introduced to the East Hull Food Bank and Beanie Food Bank in Hull by former client Robert Keane, who was represented in a legal claim by Associate Solicitor Samuel McFadyen after being injured in an accident at work.

Although the claim was brought to a successful conclusion for Mr Keane in 2019, Mr McFadyen kept in touch with his former client to keep abreast of developments with the food bank, which he runs in east Hull to support not only the homeless, but also those on low incomes.

Over the past two years the food bank has seen demand grow and it now operates three sites across the week.

These are based at the Maurice Rawling Community Centre in Bean Street, West Hull, on Wednesdays from 10am-3pm, at New George Street in the city centre on Thursdays from 10am-1pm, and at Hopewell Road in East Hull from Monday to Saturday, from 9am-3pm.

“The demand for our service has grown massively over the past two years and for the last few weeks we have been supporting more than 500 people a week,” said Mr Keane, 47, who was left needing to use a wheelchair after suffering an accident on a building site in 2014.

“I set up the food bank some years before my work accident and then when my legal case was settled I found I was unable to work, but thankfully had the financial security to be able to commit the time required to making it work as well as possible.”

Team of volunteers ensure food is available to those in need

Mr Keane is supported by a 23 strong army of volunteers who help man the food banks throughout the week, as well as delivering over 130 food parcels a day through an online service.

Food is provided through the FareShare, a national network of charitable food redistributors made up of 18 independent organisations, as well as local businesses including Sewell On The Go, Morrisons and Asda.

Now, Jane Woodcock, Samuel McFadyen, Sarah Kidd, Kelsey Drewery, Cameron Lees-Weir, Rebecca Cone, Mobeena Salim, Alex Garven, Becci Bilby and Gareth Hancock – all members of the Hudgell Solicitors personal injury team in Hull – are volunteering to help in pairs each week.

Mr McFadyen has already spent time volunteering alongside colleague Rebecca Cone and says he was amazed by the service provided – and the demand for it.

“As a team we are really passionate about giving back and supporting people who turn to us for help in ways beyond our legal advice and that is why we have decided to offer the time of two members of our team to help each week,” said Mr McFadyen.

“I was absolutely amazed by what I saw when I helped out for the first time. What Robert and the rest of the volunteers are doing is so crucial for so many families in and around Hull, and to be honest it was very humbling to be part of. It certainly made me come away and feel grateful for the food our family has on our plates each and every night, and the security of a warm home.

“Most of all it was very rewarding to feel a sense of giving back to people who, for a variety of reasons, are struggling to pay bills and for food at present. They truly appreciate this help.”

Organiser delighted by support from Hudgell Solicitors team

Mr Keane says he been ‘amazed’ by Hudgell Solicitors’ offer to provide support through its legal team helping man the food banks each week.

“It really is absolutely fantastic of them to allow their solicitors time to come out and help in the community like this, as they are all busy people.

“Samuel and Rebecca were tremendous. They really got stuck into the work and made a big impact, and this week Becci Bilby came to see us with a couple of desks which they have donated. It is fantastic to see such support and I feel we are so lucky to have business like Hudgells willing to help us in this way.

“Personally, aside from my financial reward, Hudgells supported me superbly and were there for me always with empathy and strong words of wisdom when I was going through an extremely difficult time of my life. They supported me in every way possible and that is why I haven’t been surprised by this wonderful gesture.”

The food bank also offers support, advice and signposting to services able to help address some of the issues that impact on their lives and finances, including debt advice, energy consumption, access to affordable white goods and furniture and services for substance miss-use.

Mr Keane says it is a ‘non-judgmental’ service which accept ‘self-referrals’ in recognition that many people who are in work are facing challenging times too, as well as those who are homeless and out of employment.

“Many people are struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table as there is a lot of in-work poverty at the minute. Just last week I personally delivered a food parcel to a nurse who for a variety of reasons is struggling financially,” he said.

“We also help people with furniture and white goods such as washing machines and ovens, as we find many people can’t afford these when they are rehoused. This can be people who have suffered from domestic violence and have needed to get somewhere safe.

“Thankfully we have many businesses who support us through donations, and we have a storage facility so that we can keep these items for the next person who turns to us in need.

“It is such a rewarding role we play, and I am sure all who take part from the team at Hudgell Solicitors will discover that over the coming weeks, as we head into what will be a very busy period in the run up to Christmas, and the months into the New Year.”

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