The Brother's story
We first met ‘The Brothers’ in November 2014. They are not really brothers, they are Michael (Mick) and his nephew David. Someone in the team nicknamed them ‘the brothers’ because they both had long beards, always came in together and looked like brothers and just happened to stick, and that is how we all know them.
The Brothers, Mick and David, now volunteer regularly with us at the foodbank project collecting the food donations from the various donors across the area as well as taking the packed boxes to the distribution centre. Here is a bit of their story and why they do it.
Mick and David first came into the Resource Centre after David’s mother; Mick’s sister died in 2014. They were advised by a friend to come into REACH as they needed a lot of help with many things. Due to their loss and they just didn’t really know what to do. They went through the usual process of being helped, sorting out their benefits, food from the foodbank while the changes took place, and also with debts. They were worried about the funeral costs and we were able to make the necessary benefit applications for the grants required for receiving help towards these costs. We set them up on the local authority housing register as they were not automatically entitled to stay in the home. It took a few months, but David got on top of his debts and they were offered a more suitable two-bedroom flat. We continued to see them periodically over the next year or so for various reasons and our Operations Manager – Ann Allen asked them if they would like to volunteer and they have been with us since August 2016.
David and Mick say, of the help they have had from REACH,
“REACH just couldn’t do enough for us and we really don’t know what we would have done without their support. Ann and Mark did a lot, it was a great service. We don’t know what we would have done without REACH. They are always friendly and I think it was Ann who asked us if we could do some volunteering and we thought why not? We wanted to give something back so we got involved as a volunteer driver. I go out with Mick, he does the driving and we pick up the food from all over; schools, churches, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Co-op in Clare, Linton, and Sible Hedingham. We also take food up to the Resource Centre and we just really love it. It gives us an incentive to get up in the morning and is something to look forward to. We’ve really enjoyed getting involved with the foodbank.”