Leamington charity gets donation to help to meet increasing demand for food packages

The project feeds up to 70 people a night at their soup kitchen, which runs four nights a week

Donations from last year's cancelled Regency 10K Run have gone towards helping one of the town’s charities meet increasing demand for food packages.

The Leamington Round Table has donated £3,000 to the Helping Hands Community Project, who have used some of the funds to purchase a range of cabinets and food racks to be able to store food supplies at their new premises on Althorpe Street.

The funds were raised from a combination of entry fees and sponsorship from those who kindly waived their right to a refund from last year’s Wright Hassall Leamington Regency 10K Run, which was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Carly Hadlum, operations support Worker at Helping Hands in the charity’s new- look store room. Photo supplied

The Helping Hands Community Project - whose volunteers help vulnerable individuals to get back on their feet - feeds up to 70 individuals a night at their soup kitchen which runs for four nights a week.

Since the pandemic began the charity has handed out more than 25,000 meals, and Helping Hands CEO Lianne Kirkman outlined the difference that the donation from the Leamington Round Table has made.

She said: “The number of people turning up to our soup kitchen in need of support has steadily and consistently grown throughout the pandemic - and thanks to the generosity of the community we have thankfully been able to find the supplies to meet that demand.

“We’ve had to make numerous adjustments during the pandemic which has included converting our Althorpe Street premises into a takeaway food outlet for those in need, and using our shop as an overflow storage space for food.

“Thanks to the ongoing help from the Leamington Round Table, Wright Hassall and other supporters we have been able to secure appropriate storage cabinets and other equipment to store items in an orderly manner at our Althorpe Street premises, which will really help us to maximise the storage space we have in the long run.

“We have formed such a strong relationship with the Leamington Round Table and Wright Hassall over the years, and this donation that we have received really underlines that, and we are really grateful.”

The Wright Hassall Leamington Regency 10K Run , which is entering its 18th year, is taking place on Sunday, September 19, 2021 at 9am.

Hundreds of fitness enthusiasts have already signed up for this year, and Race Director, Harpal Singh, is calling on beginners and seasoned runners to help them smash their target of signing up 2,500 runners.

Harpal, who is also chairman of Leamington Round Table, said: “When runners enter our race they aren’t just improving their own well-being through exercise, but they are helping others in the community too.

“The more runners we have enter, the more funds we can raise to help organisations such as Helping Hands, who rely on donations to carry on delivering vital work to those in need.

“We cannot wait to welcome back all of our runners this September for what is set to be a fantastic occasion when thousands of people will be pounding the pavements once more.”

Leamington-based law firm Wright Hassall is once again making a substantial contribution to the running costs of this year’s run.

The law firm is also celebrating its undertaking a series of its own fundraising activities this year to mark the company’s 175th anniversary , and has nominated Helping Hands as one of four charities to receive a portion of the proceeds at the end of the year.

Sarah Perry, managing partner at Wright Hassall, added: “Helping Hands’ story of how they have benefited from the Regency Run underlines why we are passionate about supporting this annual event.

“These community events are needed now more than ever to help society recover on various levels - from promoting healthy lifestyles and catching up with friends when we are allowed to, through to raising much needed funds for charities in the region.”

For more information about this year’s Wright Hassall Leamington Regency 10K Run, visit: www.regency10k.co.uk