For my 12 days of Giving charity donation (of time) I wanted to support a local charity. I chose Loveworks – they are based in Reigate and have one simple aim; to improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable groups of people in the area, from the elderly to the hungry.

So my afternoon started at the pub! Tough times! I joined a team of volunteers at The Beehive in Reigate to help run their monthly Cuppa Tea Club. The CTC runs every last Thursday of each month with members attending from Redhill/Merstham Age Concern. The club runs for a couple of hours at different venues, where they are offered sandwiches and tea during the first hour, with some form of activity during the second hour.

It was fantastic to see some of the members enjoying an afternoon out with new friends, tucking into pub food and homemade cakes and generally putting the world to rights. It’s a monthly event that couldn’t happen without the commitment and creativity of the volunteers and I thoroughly enjoyed getting stuck in – especially when I saw the smiles, heard the chatter and cleared the empty plates.

In addition to the CTC, Loveworks run several weekly foodbanks to assist individuals and families in our community who have, for whatever reason, temporarily found themselves unable to afford food. They provide three days’ worth of non-perishable food items in sufficient quantity to meet the needs of the individual and their family for up to six weeks. Food is provided in exchange for a voucher which has previously been issued by one of their partner agencies.

The Loveworks food bank at Merstham is supported by Fare Share Sussex, who works with large supermarkets to ensure that food is shared amongst local communities to avoid unnecessary waste. Because of this, since July 2016 Loveworks has been working with Tesco Gatwick and has received weekly supplies of ambient food for the food bank – salads, potatoes, bread, pizza, cake and more. It really does make a difference to many people’s lives.

Loveworks is a charity that wants to be the heart of our community and this vision is continually supported by the good and caring people of our local area who continue to give donations of time, food, money and support.

Community spirit in action!!

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