Brighouse-based food bank saved thanks to new home

A Brighouse food bank will stay open thanks to organisers finding a new home.

By sarah fitton
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 10:11 am
Focus4Hope's Nicola Freemantle, Laura Newton and Chief Executive Louise Reed.
Focus4Hope's Nicola Freemantle, Laura Newton and Chief Executive Louise Reed.

Focus4Hope - which helps vulnerable people in Brighouse and beyond - had feared it may have to shut its food bank because it could not afford the rent on its old premises off Thornton Square.

It made an appeal for help with funding or a new site at the end of last month, and has since been offered new space off Briggate in Brighouse.

As well as two rooms to accommodate the food bank - which helps dozens of struggling families across Calderdale every week - their new home includes space for a charity shop, drop-ins, teaching sessions and coffee mornings.

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“It’s going to be amazing,” said founder and Chief Executive Louise Reed. “We’re made up.”

The charity moved into their new premises on Saturday and are busy getting ready to expand the help they can offer.

That includes selling high quality children’s and babies clothes and other items that they are donated at a greatly-reduced price. It means families who use their services will be able to afford to buy items usually out of reach for them.

Focus4Hope is also looking at investing in laptops to provide people without IT and internet access the chance to job search or apply for benefits online, and wants to start coffee mornings for elderly people and training sessions.

The charity is hoping that the ability to provide more services will also mean it can apply for more charitable grants.

Focus4Hope has been running its food bank for more than a year and sends out 45 food parcels a week.

For Christmas, it teamed up with fellow charity Calderdale Lighthouse to put together nearly 400 festive hampers and provide gifts for nearly 2,000 children from hard-hit families.

Louise said with rising energy prices and the cost of living increasing, the help Focus4Hope offers is needed now more than ever.

“We are seeing more of a need,” she said. “People are definitely having to choose between heating or eating.

“We’ve had people crying on the phone, they are so stressed out. People’s anxiety is through the roof.”