Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Children’s centre teams up with local charity to deliver food parcels to families

Friday, 23 December 2022

A children’s centre we run has teamed up with a local charity to pack and deliver food parcels to families in time for Christmas.

Cathy Brighton, manager of  Sandy and Biggleswade Children's Centre

Staff from Sandy and Biggleswade Children’s Centre, along with members of Flitwick Children’s Centre, teamed up with the Need Project in the weeks running up to Christmas, to pack the Christmas parcels which were made up of donations of food collected from local supermarkets, businesses, schools and community members and groups.

The parcels contained Christmas essentials like ham, salmon, Christmas pudding and cakes. The Need Project also continued to provide everyday essential food parcels containing pasta, rice and tea and coffee, as well as tinned food and biscuits. Christmas presents were donated and delivered to those children who would otherwise have gone without.

Approximately 800 Christmas food parcels and 400 everyday essential food parcels were packed and delivered in the two weeks running up to Christmas.

Centre Manager Cathy Brighton and her team from Sandy and Biggleswade Children’s Centre joined the Need Project to deliver the parcels to families who are already known to and who use the children’s centre.

The Need Project is based in Stotfold with hubs in Sandy, Cranfield, Flitwick and Gamlingay and aims to support people in and around Central Bedfordshire who are facing financial hardship by providing food parcels. Fresh fruit, vegetables and bread are also available weekly at local distribution points for families to top up their food parcels.

Gordon Hamilton from the Need Project said:

The Need Project are very grateful to the children’s centre and other teams of volunteers who pick and pack the Christmas food parcels every year. Joining together with teams from community groups enables us to ensure the families in need are provided for.

Councillor Sue Clark, our Executive Member for Families, Education and Children, said:

We have nine children’s centres across Central Bedfordshire, who already work with over 4,700 families. We recognise that this Christmas, families may be finding it difficult as the cost of living continues to rise. I am glad we can work with the Need Project to ensure families have essentials over the Christmas period, and I hope this will help to alleviate some of the pressure they may be facing this Christmas.

This month, we've launched a £45,000 Crisis Fund to be administered through its children’s centres, with vouchers available to primarily cover household bills and payments and support available to help families in emergency situations. Funding will be used to support families already known to the service, with health, housing, education and other partners able to refer families in need.

We've set up a dedicated information hub for anyone concerned about the cost of living. This includes information about funding for vulnerable residents to help with food, energy and water bills and other wider essentials and a network of warm spaces across Central Bedfordshire for people to use when the temperatures drop.