Fylde coast mum army overjoyed by food bank appeal

Emma Whittaker, Louise Lavery and Angela Molyneux with some of the donations
Emma Whittaker, Louise Lavery and Angela Molyneux with some of the donations
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How do you measure the generosity of folk on the Fylde coast?

Well, if it’s in the number of advent calendars donated to Blackpool Food Bank this Christmas, there were too many to count.

Locals Helping Locals at Christmas collecting food donations for Blackpool Food Bank.  Pictured is Hayley Kay.

Locals Helping Locals at Christmas collecting food donations for Blackpool Food Bank. Pictured is Hayley Kay.

And that was only the start as a group of mums were stunned by how much food was given to their appeal to help others in need.

Radio DJ Hayley Kay and a group of her friends set up the Locals Helping Locals at Christmas initiative in 2014 as way of giving something back to the community.

She said they were ‘overwhelmed’ by the ‘ phenomenal’ response to their appeal to help those struggling to feed their families this Christmas.

Hayley added: “It took us nearly an hour with the food bank’s volunteers and my team of volunteers to get it all packed away.

Locals Helping Locals at Christmas collecting food donations for Blackpool Food Bank

Locals Helping Locals at Christmas collecting food donations for Blackpool Food Bank

“We counted the advent calendars and stopped when we got to 300. It was way more than we expected.”

Neil Reid, a spokesman for Blackpool Food Bank, said he estimated more than £3,000 food was donated.

“It will touch an awful lot of lives,” he said. “Probably in the hundreds. It is testament to Hayley and her team and their enthusiasm. It was just fabulous. The town has just risen to the occasion.”

As well as individuals, a number of organisations got involved, including the Winter Gardens, the Sandcastle, South Shore Academy and Blackpool Council.

Radio Wave presenter Hayley added: “The biggest surprise was when I was called out into St John’s Square. There was a double decker bus parked up that was full of donations to the food bank from staff at Blackpool Transport.”

‘Fabulous’

Hayley added: “We’re just a group of mums who decided not to buy each other cards and presents and give it to the food bank instead. The idea grew from there.”