Big boost for town food bank charity

Phil Pye, Ann Simpson and Kristian Thorpe of the Foodbank with Mandy Evans, second right, From Toyota UK and Secretary of the Charitable Trust
Phil Pye, Ann Simpson and Kristian Thorpe of the Foodbank with Mandy Evans, second right, From Toyota UK and Secretary of the Charitable Trust

AN ILKESTON-BASED charity is celebrating after scooping a £5,000 handout to help it open an extra day every week.

The Arena Community Foodbank, based in Rutland Street, picked up the cash from Toyota UK, leaving bosses delighted at the news.

Every year the plant at Burnaston, Derby, gives the cash to a worthy local charity in memory of Lucy Prince, who collapsed and died aged 36 at work after her heart stopped.

And Kristian Thorpe from the charity, which hands out food parcels to people in crisis in Ilkeston, said the money would make a huge impact on its work.

He said: “Because of the kindness of Toyota and their employees, Arena Community is able to make an incredible difference in the town of Ilkeston and surrounding areas to people without food, especially in the present climate.

“The trust’s donation is greatly appreciated.”

During her eight-year career at the firm Lucy had been an active supporter of the Toyota Charitable Trust.

In her memory, Toyota established the Lucy Prince Community Grant Award scheme and each year, a £5,000 award is made to support a Derbyshire charity which aims to help improve family life.

The donation will allow the charity to buy more food and chest freezers in which to store donated bread as well as being able to open an extra day every week.

The cash will also be used to create publicity material to promote its services.

The Arena also offers advice and emotional support to those who make the difficult step to visit the centre and ask for help.

Deputy managing director and trustee at Toyota UK Tony Walker said: “It is an excellent opportunity for the Trust to recognise the charitable work Lucy performed whilst at Toyota.

“This award continues her significant contribution, and we are keen to support charities that were close to Lucy’s heart.”