New food bank launched to help Derbyshire people in need

A support network for Alfreton people who have suffered financial hardship has now organised a food bank for those in need.

By Tim Cunningham
Thursday, 30th April 2020, 6:34 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th May 2020, 9:03 am

The Alfreton’s Support Network (Covid 19) page was set up by Hannah Jowett, who runs the Alfreton House Tea Rooms, along with Natasha Taylor from Ironville, and now offers an independent food bank.

Hannah, who was elected on to Alfreton Town Council last May, started the page to “make sure that everybody has help.”

Before the lockdown was announced, she organised the posting of leaflets with helpful information as well as volunteers for every street in the town.

Hannah Jowett.

“We made that effort before the lockdown and we have discovered that lots of people are in financial trouble,” she told the Derbyshire Times.

“All these people have never had to ask for help before.”

So far everyone who has received help is either employed or self-employed and have all been hit by the closure of businesses.

The food bank was only set up yesterday (April 29) and has already received requests for food parcels.

“We will help anyone – we are not expecting people to prove to us they need help," said Hannah, 37. “We have 2,300 people on the page - and a hell of lot pf people asking for help and information.

“It runs itself quite well – someone will ask if a prescription can be picked up and then someone will offer to do it. We have single mums who can't leave the house with their babies and people are shopping for them so it's great.

“People have been turning up on my doorstep with bags of food and we have had £500 donated. There are lots of people who can't do much because they have been isolating but they have been very generous.”

Hannah, who has run the tea rooms for two years, is now working three nights a week, stacking shelves at Tesco.

“I am really lucky but I know people in similar circumstances who are waiting for their grants to come through,” she said.

“I miss all my customers – but they will be back.”