Big Help Project and Knowsley Foodbank marked their tenth anniversary with key friends and supporters this October, when they held the first Patron’s Lunch at Knowsley Hall.
Guest of Honour Mr Mark Blundell DL, Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, was joined by Mr Nigel Lanceley DL, High Sheriff of Merseyside, as they were welcomed by their host and Big Help Project’s Patron, Edward Stanley and family, and Stephen Twigg, Secretary General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, to the stunning Knowsley Hall.
Guests of Honour joined Peter Mitchell, CEO of Big Help Project, to plant a commemorative tree in the formal gardens of Knowsley Hall to serve as a memento of the Big Help Project for generations to come, before retiring into the Walnut Room in Knowsley Hall for a drinks reception, followed by a meal, speeches and entertainment. Colette Goulding, Assistance CEO of Big Help Project and Simon Cowie, Chief Operating Officer of Big Help Project, led the presentation of awards to ambassadors and volunteers who have gone above and beyond to support Big Help Project and the work that they do with the boroughs’ most vulnerable people.
Introducing the awards, Edward Stanley spoke of how he was ‘greatly honoured to become the patron in 2018’ and that although the anniversary is a ‘sad reflection’ of the need for Big Help project, “it is fabulous that we are able to celebrate the 10th anniversary of such an extraordinary organisation with you today at Knowsley. I look forward to working with the Big Help over the next 10 years”.
The event closed with an impassioned speech by Peter Mitchell, CEO of Big Help Project, and spoke about how the Foodbank had grown beyond all expectations in ten years to become a charity with national reach and increasingly diverse service addressing not only food poverty but housing, employability, debt management and more. He described how, as the nation went into Covid-19 lockdown, the local Knowsley Borough Council came to the Big Help and together they fed over 77,000 people through the remaining months of 2020. Mr Mitchell closed by saying that ‘although it is to our collective shame that, in the fifth largest economy in the world there is still a need for foodbanks’, he and the team ‘fully intend to replace Foodbanks with membership-based Community Food Partnerships and Food Clubs in the coming months and years.”
The Patron’s Lunch is one of a programme of events across the year that the Big Help Project has hosted in efforts to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the charity. For more details on forthcoming events, fundraising and volunteering opportunities, please go to the website www.bighelpproject.com or call the office on 0151 482 6089.