September Newsletter 2015


favicon LizLiz Eastham has stepped down as Administrator for the Basics Bank, although we are thrilled that she will be returning in the autumn to volunteer. Liz has been a tower of strength over the past 2 years, and we have all appreciated her brilliant organisational skills and her ‘can do’ attitude. We wish her well for the future and look forward to working with her as a volunteer very soon.

A number of volunteers have also stepped down, and we take this opportunity to say, “thank you”, for all you have done over the years. We really could not maintain this valuable service



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Our Operations Manager, Janet Crick, joined us in July. Janet has worked extensively in the charity sector and  comes with much experience. She is a member of Hope Church Winchester  and is married with two grown up  children. Since graduating from the university of Portsmouth  she has worked in a number of charities including  British Red Cross and Winchester Pregnancy  Crisis Centre. She has a real heart to serve those in need, and loves  working with volunteers. She  is delighted to be part of the team.

We have two new Trustees, Lisa Gibbons and Rev Graham Topping.

Lisa brings her experience of both the financial sector and Capita to the board, and will offer support using her expertise in project management. She is mum to 3 lively boys and a member of Christ Church Winchester.

The Rev Topping brings a wealth of skills and experience to our board having recently been a chaplain and a re-settlement officer at HMP Winchester – and has just completed a year of office as chaplain to the Mayor of Winchester.


Food shelves in Winchester Basics BankWe have already received offers from local schools and churches for our 2015 Harvest Appeal. If you can also support us we would love to hear from you. Please check the website home page to view the list of our most urgent needs, but any donations will be gratefully received. If you will be holding a Harvest Festival service or assembly and would like someone to come and talk about our work please e-mail




  • Deodorant (men’s and women’s)
  • Shampoo
  • Shower gel
  • Toothpaste
  • Tooth brushes
  • Toilet roll
  • Tinned tomatoes
  • Tinned spaghetti
  • Tinned fruit
  • Squash
  • Long life fruit juices
  • Tinned custard
  • Pasta Sauces
  • Empty egg boxes for 6 eggs



Raise a free donation for us when you shop instore at Sainsbury’s!

@Give as you Live has partnered with Sainsbury’s to bring you the prepaid Everyday Shopping Card – simply top it up online, shop at your local Sainsbury’s and 4% of your upload will be donated to us without costing you a penny!

To request your prepaid Everyday Shopping Card visit

A great gift for students!



The school holiday lunch scheme which was set up last year, supported around 100 children this year. Families were referred by local schools and other organisations, with each family receiving sufficient lunch food for their school age children during the summer break. We trialled opening Milland Road on Monday mornings, so that parents could collect the food for a week at a time, outside of normal Basics Bank hours. This worked well for the majority of families.


The Bill Sargent Trust commissioned research into the work of food banks in Hampshire and produced their report, “Between a rock and a hard place”, in July. Their research concluded that the idea that food banks perpetuate the problem of food poverty is untrue and that lack of food is not the crisis, it is the tipping point of numerous crises for people facing low income, job loss, relationship breakdown, health issues and family illness. The report highlighted the problem that no one in Government takes overall responsibility for the issue.

The most common reasons cited for using a food bank were:

  • Benefits sanctions
  • Low income
  • Unemployment without benefits
  • Budget changes
  • People slipping through the net because of the inflexibility of the system.

Furthermore there was evidence that most people do take action to avoid a crisis. They do:

Budget, seek employment; seek to clear debts, live frugally, put money aside for their children

There was evidence of a shift in the pattern of users from single, homeless people to families and people on low incomes.  Over the last 10 years demand has increased rapidly and plateaued at a high level. Our own statistics show that the number of vouchers issued over the last 10 years has almost doubled, whilst the number of people being fed has increased almost four-fold.

The full report will be available online shortly.