Sheffield 91-year-old donates winter fuel payment to city's biggest food bank

A Sheffield foodbank aiming to raise £150,000 to provide one million meals to people in the city has seen locals donating their winter fuel allowance to the cause.

By Steven Ross
Thursday, 11th November 2021, 6:00 am
S6 Foodbank in Hillsborough
Manager Chris Hardy
S6 Foodbank in Hillsborough Manager Chris Hardy

The S6 foodbank in Sheffield has secured £49,000 in donations – almost one third of its fundraising target of £150,000 to provide one million meals to Sheffielders by the end of March 2022.

On October 30, a 91 year old man donated his £300 winter fuel allowance plus £75 gift aid to S6 and said that there were many people in Sheffield who needed it more than he did.

Chris Hardy, S6 manager, said: “I am always overwhelmed by people donating their winter fuel allowance - I like seeing those stories of people doing that and looking out for someone else with the money they don’t need. People from businesses like Virgin Media are giving up staff hours to give their time, schools are donating, Nina and Matt at the Cutlery Works are supporting us.

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Crates of food at S6's latest site, Shirecliffe Community Centre.

"Our numbers are already rising. It’s always a worry if they are rising in October, we are coming to the darker months. There is a lot of uncertainty around bills and more this year, especially with the universal credit payment stopped.”

S6 are now working alongside housing charity Shelter, and a worker will be on site during some sessions to help people with housing issues including trouble keeping up with payments and issues with landlords.

Chris added: “If we have people on site to help with problems while they are collecting food, that is a no-brainer. It becomes a one stop shop - people can come into one building for food, housing and any advice.

“We need the food and the money to buy the food but as much as that we are about giving people the dignity to help themselves out of their situation.”

Trussell Trust says that use of their foodbanks is up 128 percent compared to the same time five years ago.

S6 operated four sites in March 2020 but this month opened their 12th site, at Shirecliffe Community Centre.

Chris said: “I am always thankful to everyone in Sheffield who gives to our foodbank, they empower us to empower people to get out of their situation. It shows people’s big hearts in Sheffield - they donate even when they are struggling themselves.”