Hope+ News

A good news story from Hope+ Foodbank

We are often asked, and indeed ask ourselves; how does what we do help.  How can some bags of food, some second hand clothing, basic toiletries really make a difference? 

This week we had the latest in a long line of answers from a former guest!  More than two years ago a young woman came to our St Bride’s pantry.  The young woman was memorable for her dishevelled state; she was filthy, her clothing was torn in places, even her Hijab was dirty.  She was very scared, terrified really. She spoke no English, her ID said she was Syrian, so we tried to introduce her to one of our (male) Arabic interpreters, but she was too scared to talk to them.  Our female volunteers leapt into action, taking her into our clothing store to find clean and appropriate clothing, making sure she had the right food, toiletries and extra milk as she was visibly pregnant. They smiled at her, we told her in our basic Arabic that she was welcome and safe.  

Last Monday our Project Manager was watching a toddler running around Tesco in the uninhibited joyous way that only toddlers can.  She smiled at his mum, who came across and asked if she could speak with her.  “You won’t remember me” she said in very fluent English “But you saved my life, and you saved his too” she nodded towards the exuberant toddler.  “When I came to you I was dirty, I was hungry, I was terrified, I spoke no English, I was alone, my husband had been killed in Aleppo trying to rescue people from a bombed house, and I wanted to kill myself.  I had no reason to live. You smiled at me, everyone smiled, you all had beautiful smiles, you made me understand that I was safe and you would care for me, you even gave me a clean Hijab.  Please, I have waited so long for this, please may I give you a hug? Please can you tell your friends thank you from me and my son”.  

For helping Hope+ give hope to those who need it; thank you.