Sign In


Latest News

Dawn’s mission to beat poverty

A PIONEERING project is about to be launched to help families facing poverty hardship this winter.
Former food bank manager Dawn Shepherd is hoping to set up a new group that will provide a lifeline for people struggling to pay for essential domestic appliances or home furnishings.
The organisation would act as a central point for people wanting to give away unwanted household goods and would help needy families in and around Dartmouth.
Dawn, who dramatically quit the town’s food bank operation three months ago amid claims of bullying and abuse, says she already has a small committee of about a dozen people behind the idea.
‘It will be a community group, run by the community for the community,’ she said.
‘There are families out there who are desperate. I am very worried what this winter will bring.
‘People should not have to get into debt for something as vital as a fridge when many of us are falling over unwanted items.’
A public meting is being held at the Flavel Church, Dartmouth, on Tuesday at 5pm for anyone interested in getting involved.
Dawn said the ‘community chest’ venture would run alongside the Dartmouth and District Food Bank, which supported the initiative and would relieve pressure on existing volunteers at the Ivy Lane Centre.
Only this summer, Dawn left the town’s food bank charity, which she first started from her kitchen more than three years ago.
At the time she said she had received emails calling her a ‘meddling amateur and a liar’ and had been shouted at in the street.
But this week she said the campaign to help the needy had never really ended for her.
‘People still come and find me and say they don’t know what to do,’ she said.
‘The demand hasn’t stopped.
‘The time that I’ve had away has made me realise that there is a bigger picture.
‘I can’t sit back and feel sorry for myself and watch poorer families, on low pay, or seasonal work, when this is going on. I just can’t.
‘We are living in a town where wealth and poverty brush alongside each other every day and it’s never the twain shall meet unless we do something.
‘There are a lot of good people in this town and they want to help but they don’t know how and want to do it in the best way.’

Related Posts