A group of trainees from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose have recently given up their free time to help out at ‘The Helston & Lizard Foodbank’.

Phase-two trainees currently finishing off their training at Culdrose have been supporting the local community by collecting food and packing up boxes for distribution, under the guidance of the Helston & Lizard Foodbank staff.

Foodbank’s have been set up around the country to distribute Food to individuals and families who in their community who are struggling financially. In 2012-13 they have fed 346,992 people nationwide. Of those helped, 126,889 were children. Rising costs of food and fuel combined with static income, high unemployment and changes to benefits are causing more and more people to come to Foodbank’s for help.

A food collection area was set up at TESCO Superstore in Helston with the Foodbank team who briefed naval personnel on how to ‘politely’ address members of the public, if they would consider donating any food for the collection on completion of their shopping. The Sailors then weighed all the donated food, packaged it into boxes and stacked into storage cages for transferring to Foodbank ‘HQ’ situated at the ShelterBox site on the edge of Helston.

“It was a pleasure to get involved with a Charity like Foodbank,” said Leading Air Engineer Technician Keith Elsey, from the Merlin Training Facility at RNAS Culdrose. “Knowing that we can help people in the local area who are struggling at this time of year has been very rewarding for all of us.”

The initiative to help out at the Helston Foodbank came after RNAS Culdrose was asked by local Foodbank organiser Ruth McGurk to assist in their warehouse during the busy Christmas period. Volunteers on the Base soon found that a ready and willing workforce and set about organising their time accordingly. One of the most enthusiastically and helpful volunteers was Culdrose Motor Transport driver John Hendra. Who deserved a special mention in supporting the movement of food and critical to providing logistical support.

“I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to assist in Station Sponsored Community Projects while serving at Culdrose,” said Chief Petty Officer Jon Walsh. “Working with Ruth from Foodbank and Nikki from TESCO Community Support, has been fantastic! We get a lot of support from the Air Station Support Services, such as MT and the Catering departments are exceptional.”

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