Beacon Life: Three miles for two bags of food

Welcome to the new Beacon LIfe blog where we share stories of what happens at our community centre in Beacon Heath.

Three miles for two bags of food

She walked into The Beacon Community Centre, anxiously looked at the groups of chatting people, turned on her heels and ran out the door clearly distressed.

I ran after her and asked if she was OK. “I’ve just walked from Exwick for the food bank, is it here?” she asked.

I reassured her that it was, made her a cuppa and introduced her to our friends from the Exeter Foodbank team who run a Friday session at our centre in Beacon Lane, Beacon Heath.

Denise walked three miles because late benefit payments meant she desperately needed food, and although officially referred, she couldn’t get to the city centre food bank in time for the weekend.

She was very grateful for her two bags of food, her cuppa and a lift home from a Beacon volunteer but she was equally grateful to be able to explain her situation without people judging her.

Denise is an educated woman who finds herself in difficult circumstances and she’s one of a growing number of people finding help at The Beacon.

Here at The Beacon our vision, in an increasingly isolated world, is to bring people together for fun, friendship and support.

One of the ways we do this is our Friday drop-in coffee morning, where we offer a free cuppa and homemade cakes, for energetic types table tennis, pool, table football and for little ones ride ons and a baby area.

This is a warm welcoming space for all ages, our volunteers have got time to chat, that’s why they’re there! Denise's story is a poignant example of how The Beacon, partnering with Exeter Foodbank, is making a difference.