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Barrow food bank benefits from shipyard generosity

Claire Coulthurst, volunteer Ian Platt and Jim Doherty.

BAE Systems employees have donated money to help provide much needed equipment for Barrow’s food bank.

The charity, based in Abbey Road Baptist Church, Barrow, has received nearly £3,000. The money came from the company’s Give As You Earn (GAYE) scheme which enables employees to donate to deserving causes.

The money has helped provide manual handling equipment, CCTV and personal protection equipment (PPE) as a majority of food bank volunteers are elderly.

The food bank serves six communities in Barrow that are ranked in the top 3% of the most deprived communities nationally.

BAE Systems Health and Safety Advisor Jim Doherty, who also volunteers as the food bank’s health and safety officer, helped to secure funding and said the money will make a difference.

He said: “We successfully applied for support to help provide a buddy system using smartwatches, costing about £100 each. This means if any lone worker has a fall, an emergency message will be sent out calling for help.”

BAE Systems employees regularly collect and donate food to the charity.

Claire Coulthurst and Jim Doherty

Claire Coulthurst, from Barrow food bank, said: “We are currently in a very busy period for the food bank. We really appreciate any support received from the local community and businesses such as BAE systems.

“The CCTV installed with the money donated from the GAYE scheme has given us all some peace of mind, as well as securing the food bank building itself.

“The goodwill and donations from BAE Systems ensure we can keep our doors open and provide a safe environment for all our volunteers.”

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