Construction has begun in Ipswich to build a new home for charity Families In Need (FIND) to help it cope with rising demand from people in poverty and crisis for emergency food and every day household items.
Supporters of the charity gathered at the site at Gainsborough Sports Centre –businesses, schools, churches and individual donors have already raised £75,000 for the FIND 50 £100,000 Lifeline Appeal, which is continuing.
FIND helps people who find it difficult to care for themselves at some point in their life. The demand for food parcels and other items has grown year on year and doubled in 2018 to more than 6,000. As well as food parcels, FIND provides white goods, beds, bedding, school uniforms, nappies and more.
Ipswich Borough Council provided former sports changing rooms next to the sports centre and these are being refurbished to provide space for FIND to run the foodbank and be a headquarters for the charity’s work. The new home is planned to open this autumn.
Maureen Reynel MBE, founder of FIND, said: “It’s fantastic to see the first beginnings of our new home and we can’t wait to move in and help families, children and individuals who find themselves in poverty and crisis in the Ipswich area.”
Borough Council Leader David Ellesmere said: "The Council is a long-time supporter of FIND. We are very pleased to have been able to locate a suitable site for their new premises and help fund the redevelopment. We all now look forward to its completion and continuing valuable work in the community
Construction work is being carried out by a team of local companies, including Barnes Construction, Castons, MLM Group, Johns Slater and Haward Consulting, and Hooper Architects.
FIND 50 business and organisation fundraisers who have raised or donated £2,000 or more for the building appeal include East of England Co-op, Genesis, Suffolk Community Foundation, Ipswich Building Society, Ipswich East Rotary, Greyfriars Roundtable, Ipswich School, Scrutton Bland Foundation and the University of Suffolk.