Paul Pickhaver, Director of Kingston Foodbank, has been awarded an MBE for his services to the community in the Queen’s birthday honours list 2018.
Since Kingston Foodbank was launched in December 2011 it has distributed over 31,000 food parcels to local people. In 2017/18 Kingston Foodbank received and distributed 28 tonnes of donated food and supported 4741 local people.
Kingston Foodbank working with npower, one of the big six energy companies, also piloted Fuel Bank and issued the first Fuel Bank voucher in April 2015. Over the last three years 4000 people in Kingston have benefitted through the support that scheme gives towards household gas and electricity bills.
Paul says ‘ It is an incredible honour to have our work acknowledged in this way, it recognises not just what I have done but what our amazing army of volunteers and supporters have done to help local people in crisis, working in partnership with over 200 front line services.
‘There remains a need for a Foodbank in Kingston. We continue to see people struggling when benefit payments are interrupted, the crisis of homelessness, the gap in income when a person moves from welfare to work and increasingly the challenges of low income jobs on zero hours contracts. We know that the introduction of Universal Credit in Kingston this month for new claimants will leave some people with no money for 5 weeks so we are talking to other agencies about how we will support people in that process.
‘The support we give is only possible because of the incredible generosity of the people and businesses in Kingston, who with us see the needs and respond giving food, funds and time. You can find ways to support Kingston Foodbank at www.kingston.foodbank.org.uk’
Kingston Foodbank is run through the ‘City Changers’ initiatives of Doxa Deo Community Church.