The Harbour Bar and Restaurant was once again the perfect setting for our annual Tide Lunch. Nearly forty of us gathered on a rather gloomy, damp and misty day for what was an extremely cheerful occasion, marked by convivial conversation and laughter.
The beauty of the reservoir, with a single boat with two fishermen, provided a mystical and peaceful backdrop to our event. David and his team worked their usual magic and gave us a delicious, seasonal two course lunch, followed by tea and coffee.
Our speaker this year, Caroline McCabe, came from the Rutland Foodbank and gave us an inspirational talk, explaining the origins of Foodbanks in general and going on to give us insight into the work of the volunteer teams in Oakham and Uppingham. Caroline made it very clear that the food bags given out were allocated under the guidance of key social or community professionals, who had identified and confirmed the need for that particular client. From this point, the clients in their varied emergency situations, can be referred to appropriate help and advice for the future, frequently via the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB). She likened the work of the Food Bank to an emergency ‘sticking plaster’, not ‘continued care’.
People were inspired to give very generously, firstly at our September coffee morning and again at the lunch, which enabled the Friends to present a cheque for £375 and cash for £55, which was gift aided. This will go towards the bill of about £7000 a year in order to run the Food Bank and its premises. It was a lovely occasion and many compliments and expressions of gratitude were passed on as people left to return home.
Janet Higgins and Liz Plummer.