STEAM RAILWAY DONaTES TO FOOD BANKS
- GWSR presents £1,000 of ‘luxury’ food items that won’t be sold
- Tewkesbury Food Bank and Community Hub ‘thrilled’
Winchcombe, Gloucestershire 28 April 2020: The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway’s (GWSR) catering team have donated about £1,000 worth of food and drinks to the Tewkesbury Foodbank and the Tewkesbury Community Hub, for distribution to those in need during the Coronavirus lock-down.
Members of the volunteer catering team who are unable to sell food during the enforced shut-down, so have donated it to food banks (picture Ian Crowder)
Richard Summers, the GWSR's volunteer Retail & Catering Services Director (picture Ian Crowder)
This is at a time when the railway is closed and will remain closed for the foreseeable future, thanks to the current crisis. The items comprise stock purchased by the GWSR for the 2020 season that would ordinarily be sold through the volunteer-run cafés and buffet cars on trains.
Richard Summers, the GWSR’s volunteer Retail & Catering Services Director says: “We had stocked up for the new season, including special events that sadly, are now cancelled or postponed. Our trains, which ordinarily operate between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway only ran over two weekends before the lock-down.
“The things we have donated are likely to pass their ‘best before’ date before we are able to resume services.”
Richard Summers says that the items could be regarded as ‘little luxuries’, distributed alongside essentials.
“They include items you might not ordinarily find in a food bank – for example, crisps, chocolates, packaged bakery items and biscuits, sweets and soft drinks.
“We on the railway have always enjoyed the support of the local community so it’s a pleasure to be able to put something back.”
Marion Badham, project manager for the Tewkesbury Foodbank said: “We’re thrilled to receive these items and I know many of the people we are taking care of will be delighted to get some ‘goodies’ alongside their basic groceries.
“The railway has a special place in our hearts and lots of local people are either members or enjoy riding on the trains. It’s wonderful that the railway’s first thought was to pass on the things they obviously can’t sell to worthy causes such as ours. It would be such a shame if they were to go to waste.”
Mike Paganini, area manager of the Tewkesbury Priors Park Community Response, which along with HOPP (Heart of Priors Park) and Priors Park Neighbourhood Project is based at Priors Park Community Church, was equally delighted.
“Many of our volunteers are very familiar with the GWSR and were delighted that the railway has been able to support us,” he said.
“We are adding these rather lovely items to food parcels for families especially those who are finding the lock-down especially tough, for example those with disabled youngsters. We’ve had wonderful feedback from them saying that crisps or chocolates or a soft drink added to their supplies makes their day ‘a little bit better.”
The GWSR is facing its own crisis as not only does it have no income but it is having to pay out substantial sums of money to repair a landslip that developed over the winter, near Gotherington. Last month, the railway launched a £quarter-million appeal which has already passed the £200,000 mark – helping to secure the future of this popular heritage railway line in the Cotswolds
Ends / more
Media contact: Ian Crowder, 07775 566 555 or email@example.com
pictures available from Ian Crowder, press office