Richmond foodbank set to benefit from collection by North Yorkshire Police

Deployment manager Lynn Broadbent and colleagues from the force’s force control room with some of their donations.

The foodbank run by Richmond’s Influence Church is among the group’s set to benefit from a collection by North Yorkshire Police.

The force has donated hundreds of pounds worth of food and household essentials to local foodbanks thanks to the roll-out of a force-wide reverse advent calendar.

Reverse advent calendars work by filling boxes every day with helpful items that can then be taken to foodbanks in order to help those less fortunate that are struggling at Christmas time.

The force decided to organise a force-wide collection of donations after realising that many teams were already carrying out similar initiatives individually.

After gathering helpful food items throughout December, officers, staff and volunteers at police stations across the county collected over 55 boxes and filled six shopping trollies of donations and delivered them to local foodbanks leading up to Christmas Eve.

Chief Constable Lisa Winward said: “There are so many wonderful charities, groups and organisations across North Yorkshire who are doing magnificent work locally to help people in our communities who need it.

“And, so this was a perfect opportunity for us, the police, to show our support and help individuals and families in their time of need, especially at Christmas time.

“My thanks go to our officers, staff and volunteers across the force who have kindly donated or given up their time to support the reverse advent calendar in some way and make it the success it has been. I was really overwhelmed by their fantastic efforts.”

The force’s Superintendent’s Association also donated the money they would have spent on treats for their teams to contribute to the Reverse Advent Calendar instead.

After, filling a police van full with supplies, Superintendent Jason Dickson, who coordinated the collection, is pictured with the Store Manager of Tesco in Northallerton who also kindly donated a hamper to boost the donations.

He said: “At this time of year, many of my colleagues and I buy our teams chocolates and biscuits to thank them for all their hard work throughout the year however this year we decided, in lieu of that, to buy food and toiletries for those less fortunate in our communities.

“I’m pleased we could play our part in helping out such a great cause and making a difference to those who may need a little extra help at Christmas time. Thank you also to Tesco in Northallerton who helped to make it possible.”

Deployment manager Lynn Broadbent from the force’s force control room who initiated the force-wide collection said: “We know that Christmas time can be a difficult time of year for many and so we wanted to do something as a force that would make things a little easier for those who need it.

“I am extremely proud and humbled to see just how many donations we managed to collect across the force.”

In addition to the reverse advent calendar, just under £800 was raised for charities including for St Leonards Hospice, Saint Michael’s Hospice and Muscular Dystrophy UK thanks to bake sales and a raffle.

More than 60 advent calendars and chocolate selection boxes were also collected for children in the Richmond and Hambleton areas and to a local woman’s refuge.

Other teams also collected for the Minster FM toy appeal, with all donations taken to Tesco in Northallerton to be distributed to disadvantaged children through local charities.

Some of the food banks that have or will be receiving donations this year include Harrogate Foodbank, Influence Church in Richmond, Northallerton Foodbank, Salvation Army at Scarborough, Selby Foodbank, Skipton Foodbank, Stoekesley Foodbank (via the Stokesley Primary Academy School collection), The Clock Foodbank in Thirsk,  York Food Bank at Mill house and Westway Open Arms in Eastfield.