Larder report : December / Christmas 2017
Happy Christmas to all .... to our generous donors who keep us in supplies, to our regular volunteers who make everything run smoothly and the even greater number who bring supplies from various churches and other collection points.
Happy Christmas especially to those we never see .... those in support agencies who share our concern for people in trouble and "Santa's Elves" who bring supplies unseen all year round from the Budleigh churches and other collection points.
And, of course, a Happy Christmas to our clients and all those facing adverse circumstances this Christmas.
God chose rough sleepers on the hillside above Bethlehem to bring the most amazing news that He had come on earth - people at the bottom of the socio-economic scale of their time, almost outcasts - no tinsel or turkey at all ....
5 years on after our beginnings in November / December 2012, we are regularly providing supplies to people in a food crisis from an area roughly bounded by Otterton, Budleigh, Woodbury and Exton, though mainly of course Exmouth itself.
Over 5 years our way of working has evolved, mainly through individuals having better ideas how to work. It now runs fairly smoothly, and we are proud to have been used as an example for the Community Larder set up in Torquay. Some volunteers have been with us the whole time, others have come and gone - and sadly one or two well remembered colleagues from the early days have died.
Over 5 years demand has fluctuated month to month, but the rounded average has not changed so very much .... "updated monthly statistics" accessible from the front page of the website show all the ups and downs.
Community generosity over 5 years has given us reserves, so we can face an uncertain future with equanimity.
Support agencies continue to help people, referring by email or giving vouchers to those they see in need. We have people arriving without referral and the agencies, particularly the CAB, are there to support them with budget and other problems.
There is a lot of talk about problems with the Benefit system and general economic uncertainty - but we have not yet seen any great change. The one political issue that is most apparent to The Larder is the need for stronger Mental Health support - but even politicians on all sides have understood that need ........
So, a Happy 2018 to all - we go forward with hope that things will get better and reserves to give us confidence whatever happens - especially with the support and generosity of the community at large.
Exmouth Community Larder