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Supporting community foodbanks

We’re pleased to share the news that we have teamed up with two of our residents to support the creation of a new foodbank, ‘Helping Hands R-Us’ to support communities in the New Inn, Pontymoile and Penygarn areas of Torfaen County Borough.

Ysgrifennwyd gan Fiona

15 Maw, 2022

Fiona Williams of Melin and Paul Stephens-Warburton of Helping Hands R Us pictured holding various food packages

We’re pleased to share the news that we have teamed up with two of our residents to support the creation of a new foodbank, ‘Helping Hands R-Us’ to support communities in the New Inn, Pontymoile and Penygarn areas of Torfaen County Borough.

Helping Hands R-Us reached out to Melin initially as the organisation was looking for a storage space for its donated items and was fast running out of room. We were very keen to support the new foodbank and it just so happened that we had some spare space at Ty Clarence which we weren’t making use of.

We have now signed a lease agreement with Helping Hands R-Us charging a token £1 rent. This means that the foodbank can now operate from Ty Clarence without having to worry about ongoing storage costs and can concentrate on serving communities in need in Torfaen.

Not only does Helping Hands R-Us assist with food parcels, but they also help provide families with baby clothes, toys and equipment.

Paul Stephens-Warburton, one of the founders of Helping Hands R-Us was thrilled to have partnered with Melin Homes. He said: “We identified a need for support in the local area and so Helping Hands R-Us was born!

“We started a tin on a wall collection and through the generosity of donators and collectors we have been able to support families who are struggling for food. We were grateful when Melin were able to offer us a room which we can use as a base, enabling us to move forward. We would have had to close if Melin had not have done this.

“We currently support three local schools with Christmas and Easter goodies, working closely with the family liaison officers in each school. At Christmas, we were able to donate 85 Christmas Day food packs to all the families we support.

“We similarly support families by recycling baby items/toys which are donated.

“We have been extremely fortunate to have been supported not only by members of our local communities but by Melin and also Maben, Cwmbran Hire and TSM who have all donated vans at various times.”

We were grateful when Melin were able to offer us a room which we can use as a base, enabling us to move forward. We would have had to close if Melin had not have done this.

Paul Stephens-Warburton, Co-Founder — Helping Hands R-Us

Melin staff have generously been collecting food donations, toys and baby clothes which have been donated to Helping Hands R-Us. Staff will continue to collect tinned goods to further support the tin on a wall collection.

Paula Kennedy, Melin Homes CEO said: “It is an honour to be able to support ‘Helping Hands R-Us’ in their mission to support the local community in Torfaen. Paul and his fellow volunteers are doing an incredible thing by giving up their time to make sure that no local family goes without.

“The cost-of-living crisis has highlighted the struggle that many families are facing across the country, and I’m pleased that Melin is doing its part of support the work of Helping Hands R-Us. We look forward to continuing to work with Helping Hands R-Us and wish them all the best as they continue to grow.”

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