ESSEX, England, 2017-Jan-13 — /Travel PR News/ — Local bus operator First Essex announced a new partnership today with Trussell Trust foodbanks in Colchester.
The initiative, which has been rolled out with great success in other parts of the country including Chelmsford and Southend, will provide foodbank teams in Colchester with ‘Free Bus Journey Vouchers’ that can be used by volunteers and clients visiting the centres. The Trussell Trust had in particular raised with First Bus the issue that many of its clients face – walking long distances with heavy shopping bags. Now, thanks to the First Bus partnership, clients can now use the bus and avoid in some instances a five mile walk home.
In addition, the partnership will also see ‘food collection events’ being held at supermarkets throughout 2017, asking shoppers to donate a few items for the local foodbank when they do their weekly shop.
Steve Hartman, Operations Manager for First Essex in Colchester said: “We are really excited about the new partnership, it’s great to know that by providing the free journey vouchers, we are making a real difference to local people’s lives who may have fallen on hard times.
“We have rolled this initiative out in other parts of the country and locally in Chelmsford and Southend with great success and I hope the new partnership with the ‘Trussell Trust foodbanks’ here in Colchester, will be just as valuable.
“We play a key role in the local community by running a comprehensive network of bus services around Colchester every day. Not surprisingly, it is very likely that some of the areas where bus services run, will have local residents living below the poverty line and are in a crisis situation.
“The team of volunteers at the foodbank provide a wonderful service for people who are in crisis and need some assistance with day to day basic requirements such as food. Clients will bring a voucher to the centre that will have been issued by a care professional, such as doctors, health visitors, social workers, CAB and police who have identified a person or family in crisis
Jo Stevenson, The Trussell Trust’s East of England Regional Development Officer, said: “We’re really pleased to be working with First Essex in Colchester. Trussell Trust foodbank managers often meet people who have had to walk miles to reach emergency support, and then face walking a long way home with heavy bags of food. If you don’t have enough money to put food on the family table, you certainly don’t have enough money for travel.
“The bus voucher scheme has made a real, and immediate, impact already with a number of Trussell Trust foodbanks in the Midlands, Norfolk and now in Essex – it is an innovative and very practical project which offers an immediate solution to people who are at crisis point. It’s great to see the extension of a scheme that will help foodbanks make even more of a difference in Colchester.”
SOURCE: FirstGroup plc.
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