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Unveiling the Heart of Jimmy's: How this Foodbank is a Beacon of Hope and Support for Many.

Poole Food Bank+ and Lifecentre, otherwise known as Jimmy's (, is based opposite St James' Church by Poole Quay. A welcoming space that is warm, inviting and open 4 days a week (Tuesday to Thursday 9.30-12.30 and Friday 9.30-12).

I first came across Jimmy's last year and started volunteering there pretty much immediately and quickly came to realise that this place is so much more than just a foodbank. Founded by Faithworks (a christian charity) it was set up to work with people who are in crisis whist helping them to build hope and resilience for their future. Specialising in helping those who are dealing with homelessness, food poverty, debt, addiction and those who are in single parent families, it is a place that helps people feel a little less alone.

I have been there now for 6 months and have worked in 'The Store', based in the Dolphin Centre where all donations are brought in, sorted and distributed out to the various foodbanks. At Jimmy's 'back of house', where we ensure stock rotation of donations delivered from 'The Store', pack the bags for people that have come in for food, and on reception. Here I greet those that come in and sort of 'triage' them based on their needs. Some come in needing food to tide them over, some need support because they are experiencing debt, domestic violence, doesnt matter what they need, Jimmy's is there to support each and every person that walks through the door and I for one feel extremely priviledged to be able to play a part in that process that gives people their smile back, that gives them hope for a brighter future. There is no judgement nor criticism, just support!

I have witnessed first hand, what Jimmy's has to offer. One particular case stands out for me. I greeted someone who walked through the door and broke down as I started talking to them. I moved them to a quiet corner and was able to chat with them to find out what was troubling them. They were in crisis, needing housing support, financial support, domestic abuse support.....they had a lot going on. From walking in and feeling lost, we were able to put them in touch with relevant people and organisations and helped them to see that there was a way out of the dark hole that they saw themselves in. I will never forget the most amazing smile on their face, when they left an hour or so later.

To share some statistics - Faithworks as a whole, has provided over 13,931 food parcels to families during 2022-2023. During that same time frame, they also gave out 900 recipe bags, 80 electric blankets, supported 35 schools and 30 wardrobe foundation referrals to mention but a few of the amazing things they do. 

Foodbank's have seen a marked increase in uptake for food parcels over the last couple of years, not least due to the cost of living crisis we find ourselves in. Faithworks isn't about fixing things per se but more about helping people help themselves and so feel stronger, more empowered and capable. And all the work they do, has been possible because of you. All of you amazing people who donate food, clothes, time and more, at supermarkets, schools, churches and hubs. You don't have to be Christian to volunteer for Faithworks (I am not) but you do need to have values that align with their ethos. Being kind, being caring, listening and having unbiased views are key in playing a part at the Foodbank. If you want to get involved then why not take yourself down to one of the many Foodbanks around ( and see what you can do to help make a difference. I promise you it will make you smile, as you'll not only be volunteering with an amazing bunch of people but also spread that smile to all you come in contact with !

With love Illana x

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