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Stories from the FoodHub: Rachel

Stories from the FoodHub: Rachel

As England embarks on its second lockdown of the year, FC United’s food hub is seeing a surge in demand once again and over the next few weeks we'll share some of the stories our community has experienced. Providing food for individuals and families through referrals from local professionals, the food hub has been a lifeline for 250+ people since the first pandemic. During this time we would like to launch a series of website stories to share the work the hub has been doing in the community. FC United vs Doncaster will be memorable for many reasons to everyone connected to the club, but for the fortunate enough few who worked in the ground on the day, it was noticeable that a young woman was walking around and consistently sanitising tables, banisters and other common touch points in the main stand, ensuring the ground was Covid safe. Later, a conversation was struck up and she introduced herself as Rachel. Before the pandemic, Rachel was a baker and had a stable job before she was made redundant in March, a story so many people are familiar with this year. She was not furloughed and with no hope of finding a new job in a closed economy, she turned to her last option and applied for benefits. She described this time as challenging, as she had many outgoing bills and financial commitments that she had to meet, leaving little left for the essentials like food. There was a delay between applying for the benefits and receiving them, and money was incredibly tight. She was referred to FC United’s food hub through a housing agency, the team followed up with her and she began to receive help from the hub. “I didn’t want to take something for nothing. Vinny asked if I wanted to come down and help 3 days a week at the hub and I immediately said yes.” Rachel began volunteering at the hub not only to fill her time but to give back to the place that helped her when she was at her lowest point. The food hub, solely run by volunteers, were happy for the extra help and Vinny Thompson (FC United’s Community Officer) noticed how well she carried out her work: “She was just brilliant. She was always finding things to do where there was a gap and helping out wherever she could. She worked really hard.” Having gained some volunteering experience through the hub, she was also asked if she would like to come and help out on matchdays once the season started. Rachel immediately said yes: “Vinny said it was just a cleaning role and that it wasn’t the most glamorous job but I really didn’t mind. I just wanted to give something back to the club as they have helped me so much.” Once the economy began to open up again, Rachel began applying for jobs. She landed herself an interview at a supermarket, and Vinny helped in preparing her for the interview, even speaking on the phone to her at 6am before she went in for it. The following matchday, she came down to the ground to help out and Vinny recalls the moment she walked in: “She came in absolutely soaking wet through. It was the day with the awful rain when we played Guiseley but she had walked all the way in just to help out. She was bouncing off the walls: she got the job!” Rachel had impressed the supermarket so much in her interview with her volunteering at the hub that they had offered her a superior job to the one she applied for. She starts her job this week but now she’s back in employment, Rachel is still keen to come and help out at the club on her days off: “FC United has given me so much. I would’ve spiralled into depression; I had no money to buy food. I would’ve gone hungry without this place. You could say that FC United saved me." Good luck to Rachel who starts her new job this week!

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First Posted ~ 17:58 Wed 11 Nov 2020
News ID ~ 8850
Last Updated ~ 09:08 Tue 12 Jan 2021