Amble food bank up and running

Posted on 13th August 2013 | in Community

foodbank-boxYou may have noticed this image dotted around Amble’s high street and churches lately, but do you know why? Amble is now the home of a new conscious effort to help people in need.

The facility has been set up by a collaboration of many Amble based organisations including Vineyard Amble, Coquet Churches Together, Alnwick and District CAB, Co-op, Barclays, Amble Youth Project, Amble Development Trust as well as other agencies, organisations and businesses. But it’s the generosity of the public that Alan Rapley, leader of Vineyard Amble and co-ordinator of the project, would like to praise.

In the first three weeks of operation, the project saw five food parcels distributed to those in need. The situations that bereavement, job loss, illness, family breakdown, benefits issues can cause can seriously affect the utter essentials of living – Amble Food Bank is there to help by relieving individuals and families in need. The packages are a short term solution until finances are sorted out, but aim to make a significant difference in people’s lives.

Food items can be donated at a number of venues in the town including The Co-op, the churches, the Radcliffe Club and the Amble Youth Project, all of which can be identified by the Foodbank logo and all of which carry a list of items needed.

Referrals are made by different authorised agencies that are aware of the situations of individual family units and issue packages specifically for those people.
Alan would like to hear from different agencies that may be in a position to make referrals to the food bank. These could be schools, district nurses, home carers, and social workers – all who have regular contact with qualifying family units.

He would also like to hear from any clubs, pubs or other community organisations that would be willing to act as collection points for food items.

Craig Proud

Who can access a food bank parcel?

Each food parcel is intended to last between two and three weeks. It’s intended for emergency situations, not for people who can provide for themselves.

Recipients have to be referred via their GP, District Nurse or other healthcare professional, or from the Amble CAB or Amble Youth Project.

“We have two volunteers from Barclays bank and another from our church group, as well as my wife and I” said Alan Ripley of Amble Vineyard church group.

He believes there is a need for a food bank in Amble and anticipates that the need will increase as benefit changes take hold.
“People generally do not have a clue as to the extent of poverty and deprivation around. They don’t meet people in need. They live in nice areas, so never touch those who are really struggling,” he told The Ambler.

“We know what problems people have now, transitioning from one benefit to another. The predictions are that it will increase as the benefit system changes to Universal credit.”

But he praised the community who have already helped with the food bank project.

“It has been great how the community has pulled togther and volunteered to help in different ways. The support has been excellent. That’s what it’s all about; people in the community helping the community.”

Update: this article has been updated to remove the contact details which are now no longer in use. To contact the food bank as of 2020, please email

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One thought on "Amble food bank up and running"

  1. Bruce Straughan says:

    Well done on your fantastic achievement. As an ex-Amblie (I left 28years ago) I still take an avid interest in all things concerning Amble. In times of hardship it’s refreshing to see people like Alan who still have the generosity and kindness to help others who maybe less fortunate.

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