Each month we’ll be highlighting the work of one of our ten dedicated teams across West Lothian. First up is our Linlithgow team!
Our Linlithgow Distribution Centre is in Cross House, St Michael’s Church at the foot Linlithgow Palace and is open on a Tuesday and Friday from 10- 12.30. The distribution centre could not operate without our group of 12 heroes who donate their time to us each week. The foodbank receives referrals from various organisations in and around Linlithgow – Council staff, health visitors etc. The local Council Information Services (CIS) office is right across the road, and many clients find their way to the foodbank direct from there. Most clients reside in Linlithgow, Bridgend and the surrounding area – but it is not uncommon to see clients from as far afield as Armadale and Whitburn! The foodbank helps quite a lot of young single men, many of whom have been given their first tenancies, and need help to manage their money. Many clients don’t receive benefits on time; and this is an ongoing factor being made worse by Universal Credit. Debt and budgeting advice is often required, and this is offered during an informal chat with clients over a cup of tea.
The issues that bring people to the foodbank are varied – recently an abused individual who had left their partner eventually found their way to the foodbank through the CIS. The client had been housed in the area but had been abandoned without food. Eventually, shivering and shaking, and after three days without food, the foodbank was able to help. The client received another couple of food parcels and is now back on their feet. A powerful display of the impact your donations can make! Another client had no money after paying a huge electricity bill, which was wrongly calculated. The client and the energy provider knew the bill was wrong, but the client was so afraid of being in debt and paid it regardless.
We hope these real-life examples have given you some food for thought. Perhaps the next time you’re out doing the weekly shop you could pop a few items in the basket for the foodbank? Or if you’re feeling inspired by the work of our Linlithgow team, we would always appreciate your time. Volunteers are the driving force behind foodbanks and we rely on their support to help local people facing crisis.