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Sutton Coldfield Observer – Shock at use of foodbanks 

by Andy Kerr (Friday 2nd November 2018)



The “shocking dependency” of some Sutton Coldfield  residence on foodbanks has been highlighted this week by Councillor Rob Pocock.


The Sutton Vesey  Councillor has obtained evidence from a detailed audit conducted by the Bethany Foodbank in Erdington which show that scores of families are now travelling there from the “supposedly affluent” areas of Sutton Coldfield.


Pastor Kevin Warrington, who volunteers for Bethany Foodbank, has appealed to the Sutton Town Council Community Grants scheme to help fund the service which now supports “so many Sutton families”.


Councillor Pocock says the data reveals that current services provide for families referred by many agencies in Sutton Coldfield, such as churches in Walmley, where 19 individuals are receiving assistance.


He claims that another 50 are being referred by the Sutton YMCA from across Sutton Coldfield while between 15 and 20 families have been referred on from Falcon Lodge by Compass, who are being funded by the town council to help provide community support in the area.


Pastor Warrington said: “No matter what people are saying, the situation is getting worse, people who are on benefits are fining it harder, but people in work are also finding in tougher, Bethany Foodbank  is supporting residents from Sutton as well as Erdington, Small Heath and Perry Barr, we have even had people from Four Oaks.   Over the summer holidays a lady came to use through YMCA, by the time she came we had closed but were still able to give her enough food for both her and her daughter,.  We applied for a grant from Sutton Town Council but were turned down last year because we are based in Erdington”


Councillor Pocock said he was “shocked and scandalised” by the extent of the problem that has come to light. “The real truth is that there are families hitting deep financial crisis, right here in the midst of our Sutton community” he said.


Willing Bethany Foodbank volunteers can phone Kevin Warrington on 07703 663506


Bethany Community Outreach through the Foodbank has teamed up with

The Clarion Housing Group, Clarion Futures


We are really excited about this project. We see this as the

next step into helping our  Clients and those in our community to get help where needed in their current situation.

Whether it is benefit/housing/financial advice, job retraining or back into a job using the skills they have already developed and enjoy using.


Please visit our page Partnering with Clarion Futures for details Teaming Up With Clarion Futures


October Figures


Good news a slight fall in last months and the previous months figures .  We are still working closely with the Works and Pensions department and other agencies to enable us to point people in the right direction now that Universal Credit is being rolled out across our area and will continue to do so.


We would like to thank our  Partners, Sponsors, Volunteers, Neighbours who have been so faithful in their provision their goods, time and finances to enable this work to be carried out.


October 2018 – 1058         January to October 2018 –  10,236


October 2017 –  805             January to October 2017 – 6,839


Overall increase in the same period in 2017 – 3,400 or 49.67%


Food Drive – Sainsburys Castle Vale


We were invited by PR Ambassador Sheila Hyland and her team to spend Saturday 22nd September in store to collect for Bethany Foodbank. 


Staff and customers were so kind and people gave so freely it was just wonderful to be there.  Our volunteers also did an amazing job covering from 8.00 am  in the morning until 6.00 pm, it was a truly a wonderful day. 




We collected 13 trolley loads of food, £120.37 in donations, the difference the generosity of Sainsburys customers and staff have made is amazing.



THANK YOU on behalf of our customers for making such a difference


A Big Thank You


On behalf of our customers we would like to say a very big thank you to Father Neil and the congregation at Holy Cross & St Francis, Walmley for the 20 bags of tinned food and £371.00.


They have faithfully supported and partnered with us at the Foodbank over several years and we just appreciate them very much.


Food Drive – Sainsburys Castle Vale

We were invited by PR Ambassador Sheila Hyland and her team to spend Saturday 5th May in store to collect for Bethany Foodbank. 



What a day it was, both staff and customers were so kind and people gave so freely it was just wonderful to be there.  Our volunteers also did an amazing job covering from 8.00 am  in the morning until 6.00 pm. 


We collected trolley loads and also over £80 in donations, we cannot stress the difference your generosity has made to our customers. 

So on behalf of Bethany Community Outreach we say a BIG THANK YOU YOU  to all


Birmingham Mail Interview re closure of the foodbank

A lifeline foodbank which serves more than 800 struggling Birmingham residents each month is on the brink of closure.

It is feared users will be forced to go hungry after developers served Bethany Community Foodbank notice to vacate their Erdington warehouse by the end of April.


Click here for video of the interview – Charlotte Paxton – Birmingham Mail


Royal Sutton Coldfield’s interview re closure of our foodbank


Click here to read the Interview Royal Sutton Coldfield News


Central News

4 January 2018 at 10:37am

Report: Birmingham food bank loses premises and faces closure


A foodbank in a deprived part of Birmingham could be set to close after the site it operates out of is being sold.


The Bethany Foodbank serves around 800 people a month out of its premises in Erdington – and the volunteers say they’ve had their busiest year.


Watch Lee Comley’s report below.

Central News Interview Video




Stockland Green Community Awards 2017 – Bethany Community Outreach Emergency Foodbank. 


We may have collected the award, but this is for EVERYONE from our wonderful volunteers and partners, neighbours and friends right down to the lady or gentleman that left a packet of soup in a bag tied to the gates.  This is community.



Click here for video



Thank you to M. Lambe Construction

We would like to thank the owners and staff of M. Lambe Construction for their generous donation to the Emergency Foodbank.  The difference these gifts make in the lives of our clients using the foodbank cannot be over emphasised.


Please click here for their website



Thank you to Britwell Evening Townswomen’s Guild

Thank you to all those of you who gave so freely of your Harvest Festival gifts to our Emergency Foodbank.  The difference these donations will make to those in our community who are suffering real deprivation is immense.


Harvest Festival Donations


Thank you to all the pupils, parents and teachers at the Yenton Primary School in Erdington and the Holy Cross Catholic Primary School in Walmley.  Their donations have been gratefully received and will go a long way in helping those in the community who have been referred to our emergency foodbank.




A big thank you to Sutton Coldfield YMCA


We work with our partners at the Sutton Coldfield YMCA on a regular basis and would like to thank them for their very kind donation towards the work of Bethany Community Outreach. We very much appreciate our partners, click on the link below to see the great work they do

Please click here for their website


Socks & Chocs


We would like to say a big thank you Socks & Chocs for their help with the foodbank and to let you know what they do.


“Socks and Chocs for the Homeless‘ is an initiative started by Ian Northcott, and supported by his work colleagues, to provide homeless people in Birmingham, Coventry, Worcester and Wolverhampton with a few basic home comforts at Christmas.


Last year they donated approx 8500 pairs of socks and 3500 pieces of chocolate in addition to 229 sleeping bags. email if you want to help. Click here for their website


Erdington Fire Station

We would like to say a big thank you to the men and women of Erdington Fire Station in giving so generously of their time and effort in the collection of food on behalf of Bethany Emergency Foodbank at Lidl’s store in Erdington.


A big thank you to Lidl for allowing them to use their store and to their customers for their generosity and kindness in donating so freely to the foodbank.  We appreciate it and we can assure you that nothing, not one thing, will be wasted.



ISG Erdington Leisure Centre Team

We would like to thank Jason Lane of ISG  for the donation from the ISG Erdington Leisure Centre Team of £46 and other donations collected in the “Builders Bums” tin from when operatives on site have forgotten their ID cards, a charity donation of £1 for each time a card was forgotten to gain access on site was collected during the project and was used by the Bethany Community Outreach to put fuel in the minibus used for all of the charity work we do.

You have been great neighbours


Greggs Sandwich Donations

We would like to say thank you to our local Greggs store who are now working with the Foodbank by supplying sandwiches to our customers.  We look forward to working with you.



With Sheila Hyland and Base Build Service after their most generous gift of food and goods for the foodbank


Sainsburys Castle Vale and Base Build Services

So when we received a telephone call from Sheila Hyland out of the blue saying that together with Gavin Jewitt of Base Build Sainsburys would like to give us a trolley load of food and supplies before the refit to the Castle Vale store started, we gratefully accepted their kind offer You can see just how generous they were from the picture



Thank you Jo for all your help



Tesco Princess Alice Retail Center – New Oscott

We would also like to say thank to Tracey Horner and her team for supporting us with food and goods for the Foodbank.  Also for allowing us to put a small basket in for any donation that their customers wish to make.


Train Aid

A big thank you to Bill Casserley of Train Aid who contacted us and invited two of our volunteers on a free first aid training course. They cover many training courses and we would certainly recommend them should you be looking for training.







Click here to go through to Train Aid