When the Coronavirus hit the UK in March, Golding resident Emma Woods, knew she wanted to do something to help others in need. Calling upon her background in caring, Emma setup a foodbank in her village to provide food to local families struggling through the pandemic.
I had worked all my life in the care and education sector,” said Emma, from Detling village. “However, following an accident in 2015 I was unable to continue doing the work that I loved, supporting children as a Learning Support Assistant. Giving something back to others is really important to me but without my job I felt there was a void in my life”.
Following the lockdown, Emma knew she wanted to do anything she could to help. As soon as she could Emma signed up to volunteer as an NHS responder providing telephone support to vulnerable people in the area.
“It was during these phone calls that I was hearing stories of people struggling to pay for food. This spurred me on to do something more,” said Emma. “The very next day I setup a local foodbank in the village, providing food parcels for families who were struggling financially or couldn’t leave the house.”
With the support of her neighbours, Emma has been overwhelmed by the amount of food that is donated.
“Without the support of my neighbours and the local community this wouldn’t be possible. Just recently we have received a huge donation of food from local Maidstone B&B, Rock House. The support has been amazing and goes someway to helping people in need,” said Emma.
The food donations are dropped off outside Emma’s house, and together with her daughters Erin, 16, and Lucy, 15, they make up the boxes. Emma’s husband Paul is then on hand to help her deliver the food to families in Detling and the surrounding areas of Maidstone.
Handing out the boxes, Emma feels a sense of satisfaction again. She said “I have received lots of positive feedback from the families we deliver to. They are so grateful. Helping to bring a smile to people’s faces and make a difference to their everyday life has given me back my purpose.”