25th Sep, 2018

Vital Redditch lifeline The Link is saved - and it’s foodbank too

Imogen Buller 13th Oct, 2017

AN 11th hour deal has saved a vital local service – and provided a new outlet for Redditch Foodbank.

The charity Acts of Kindness, based at the Oasis Christian Centre by Redditch bus station, has stepped in to save The Link in Winyates Centre which, due to funding cuts, was just hours from closing.

It means it will now become the new administration centre for AOK and a new distribution point for the foodbank, extending its availability to those in need while retaining the services it ran.

“This has only been possible because of our amazing volunteers, their hard work and the support of the generous Redditch community,” said the Rev Robin Baker, chairman of AOK.

Liz Williams, manager of Reach CIC (Community Interest Company), which operates out of The Link, said: ‘Without the support and commitment shown by AOK and Redditch Foodbank we would not have been able to re-open our Credit Union, internet access and printing services to the local community.”

The news comes at a key time for Redditch charities helping the destitute as the Government rolls out Universal Credit, which wraps six benefits into one, in the town.

“There is no let up,” said the Rev Baker.

“Universal Credit is being rolled out and due to the delay in people receiving their benefits we are expecting the need to be greater.

“We do not know 100 per cent for sure, but we believe it is going to be worse and we are resourcing for it, although we won’t necessarily feel the effects for three to four weeks.”

The foodbank will continue to operate as usual from St Stephen’s Church in the town centre and Christchurch in Ryton Close, Matchborough, and now at The Link in Winyates Centre on Mondays from 11.30am to 2pm and Tuesdays from 10am to 2pm.

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