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Craigavon Area Food Bank firmly in driving seat thanks to ‘van-tastic’ £10,000 donation

Thanks to the generosity of the John Wilson Memorial Trust the van will help deliver food to homes across the borough and three distribution centres

Food Bank Ulster Carpets
Dr John Wilson (far right), Chairman of Ulster Carpets and Trustee of The John Wilson Memorial Trust, and Dalreen Buchanan (far left), Business Support Manager at Ulster Carpets, with Diane Guiney and Chris Leech, both from Craigavon Area Food Bank, and the van purchased thanks to a £10,000 donation from the Trust.

The John Wilson Memorial Trust – set up in memory of the late John Wilson, son of Ulster Carpets founder, George Walter Wilson – has made a £10,000 donation to the Craigavon Area Food Bank to help it continue its important work.

The money has been used to purchase a large van to meet the increasing logistical requirements of transporting food from the area’s donation points to Craigavon Area Food Bank’s central warehouse.

It will then be used to distribute the food to homes across the borough, including their three distribution centres.

Diane Guiney, Project Manager, Craigavon Area Foodbank, said, “Before lockdown, we were already beginning to struggle to efficiently deliver food to our distribution centres.

“Our small van was no longer big enough to manage the amount of food that each centre required and that put additional pressure on our amazing team of volunteers, as we had to make multiple journeys.

“This generous donation has allowed us to purchase a larger van which allows us to collect donations several times a week and deliver it to those who need it most.

“Due to the pandemic, we are anticipating a marked rise in referrals, and this will again increase how much food that will need to be transported to the distribution centres, so having this van will make a big difference.

“Every single one of our volunteers has one thing in mind – to help as many people that we possibly can. That includes provision of food, but also releasing hope and a sense of value to those we serve.

“I truly believe that, thanks to the John Wilson Memorial Trust, this van is going to be absolutely vital for us to manage the increasing numbers of those in our community who have found themselves in crisis.”

Dr John Wilson, Chairman of Ulster Carpets and Trustee, said: “The John Wilson Memorial Trust was set up in memory of my late father, one of the five children of George Walter Wilson who founded the company in 1938.

“My father believed strongly in helping the local community therefore I am delighted that the trust has been able to help and support this vital local service”

“The work carried out by these volunteers is helping at least 4,000 people a year by getting food to families in crisis and helping them to find a way forward.

“We are delighted that our donation will help alleviate some of the pressures on the volunteers to continue this essential work.”

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