Real Stories

“The foodbank was a lifesaver.” Your support is helping us to change lives.

Our Client Stories May and June 2016

Emma, single mother came to the food bank as she needed help with a food parcel to help see her and her son through a difficult time. When Emma first entered the food bank she said she felt embarrassed and upset by been in this situation, but upon arriving at the centre  she felt welcomed and was put at ease by  the volunteers. When Emma sat down with one of our signposters they were very helpful , our volunteer suggest other places she could go to for help. Emma Would not have known what to do if the food bank was  not around to help her  out through her tough time, when Emma got her parcel she was overwhelmed with the amount of food she got to feed her family with.

A client had his benefits stopped and was left with no means of support,he contacted his support worker who referred him to the food bank. He had been advised that his benefits would be reinstated after 4 weeks, however in the meantime he had no means of support. At the food bank, he was given a warm welcome, a cup of tea and biscuits. A volunteer chatted to him, provided support and he received the much needed food and extras. The client was extremely grateful, and he would now no longer have to worry about where his next meal was coming from. He was also advised that he could return for further assistance if needed.


A client with 2 children came to the foodbank and felt nervous this client suffers from anxiety also felt embarrassed. when the client turned up to use the foodbank the volunteers made them feel very welcome. The volunteer’s explained how many times a foodbank can be used and offered tea/ coffee. The client said the volunteer’s spoke to them respectfully and felt relaxed. The client said if there wasn’t any foodbank’s they would have gone without any food and skipped meals. This client was very grateful for receiving their food.

A client that lost their partner, felt nervous and embarrassed using the foodbank but when they turned up they felt relaxed and treated with respect. they had a laugh and felt at ease with our volunteer’s
The client was very happy with the help they got from their visit to the foodbank. This client said if there wasn’t any foodbank’s the client would have had to use loan sharks or skip meal’s
Once our volunteer’s helped this client out they felt relieved that they would be eating and keeping warm.


Another client needed help due to change in her benefit resulting in a delay of several weeks. She had recently moved as her daughter had come back to live with her and had not received any advice from the benefits agency as to how she should survive until her benefits restarted. The client felt embarrassed at having to come to a charity, but found a welcoming environment and friendly people who made her feel comfortable. Help from the food bank made a big difference to her, knowing that she and her daughter had something to eat, and she could return if needed the following week.


A client who recently discharged himself from hospital after living on the streets and still feeling unwell was having a delay before his benefit was paid. He received a food parcel and is now in a hostel.


young family at foodbank entrance

Holly’s Story

“The people at the foodbank were wonderful, they understood and saved us.”

Having always worked and never claimed benefits, Holly, 29, from Chichester was bringing up her four-year-old daughter, Phoebe alone. She was determined to give her the best possible start in life, but when Phoebe suddenly fell ill, Holly was forced to turn to a foodbank for help.

The council flat that Holly was living in was in a deprived area with drug dealing and dog fouling taking place in the corridor outside her door. Holly was adamant that her daughter should have a better environment to grow up in and was offered alternative accommodation near her parents but at double the cost. As well as borrowing money from her parents to meet the cost, Holly was working part time. At the same time, she had been selling second-hand clothes online and the shop she was working in noticed its success and offered her a space selling clothes in their shop.

Under normal circumstances, Holly could just about scrape by, but when her daughter became poorly and had to spend three weeks in hospital, she was forced to close the shop temporarily. When Phoebe recovered, they returned home to empty kitchen cupboards, bills racking up and no income to support them.

Holly felt unable to ask her family for help again and after discussions with the local Citizens Advice Bureau she was referred to the foodbank.

Holly said: “The people at the foodbank were wonderful, they understood and saved us.”

Although Holly’s situation is still precarious, knowing the foodbank is there in an emergency is a huge weight off her shoulders.



smiling man - foodbank client


Richard’s Story

“Without the foodbank, I don’t think I would be here today.”

Having worked in the police force for six years, followed by 12-years in the Royal Military Police, Richard, 49, from New Milton, had always considered himself fit and healthy. However, this all changed when a chest infection quickly developed into a heart condition and he suffered from two major strokes followed by 19 mini strokes, leaving him unable to work.

Richard’s situation deteriorated further when he separated from his wife and moved out of their family home, where, unfortunately due to this change of address his Employment Support Allowance (ESA) was delayed. As a result of his serious heart condition Richard needs 35 tablets a day, but the cost of travelling to collect his prescriptions left him without enough money for food, and his local Citizens Advice Bureau referred him to the foodbank.

Although Richard admits he never expected to be in this situation, on arrival he was put at ease straight away. “The volunteers were fantastic, offering a chat and a shoulder to cry on. I suffer from depression as well and without the foodbank I don’t think I would be here today,” he said.

Richard looks forward to seeing his 10-year-old daughter every weekend but admits he has skipped meals on a few occasions so she can eat. He explains: “It’s a really bad situation that people have to decide whether they can feed themselves, feed their children or put the heating on. It’s a case of having to budget or having to go without.”

At the moment things are still tough for Richard, he’s on the waiting list for a heart transplant and will be on medication for the rest of his life, but he’s grateful that the foodbank is available if he ever needs some extra help.

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