18 May 2020
Cambridgeshire ACF’s No1 Company has solved the problem of what to do with its NAAFI snacks which would not be used during the lockdown - by donating them to good causes.
SMI Guymer realised that this stock might go to waste, and set out to ensure it would not be. Last week he delivered most of the stock of drinks and chocolate bars to various food banks around Cambridgeshire. Some detachments also delivered their stock themselves, with some stock going to Cambridgeshire Constabulary in recognition of the hard work and dedication they have shown during this period.
SMi Guymer said; ‘I read about the idea in a bulletin from RFCA, where another county had donated all their items to a hospital. So, I put an email out to our HQ and all the DC’s about my idea, and asked for feedback. We discussed the idea on our Teams meeting, and it was decided that food banks were the avenue we would take. Once I had the green light to go, and the DC’s had advised me of what I was going to take, I set about finding all the local food banks. I then rang each one to ensure they would accept all of the items I was going to take. When the day came, I set out collecting and delivering to all those very grateful food banks. It may have been only 6 hours out of my day, but to the people that would receive those items it would probably have made their week, certainly their day, especially if they had children. It’s a nice feeling to know that all of those sweets, chocolate bars and cans of drink would get used, and not just thrown away.’
Additionally, SMI Offer is supervising the donation of 40 Easter eggs which were originally intended for cadets, but which could not be delivered, and will instead go to children in residential care.
Wisbech detachment donated its stocks to the 50 Backpacks Vision charity, which helps homeless people and others in the Wisbech area.
No.1 Company Commanding Officer Major Deacon said; "Supporting the community is an important part of the Army Cadets, especially because one of the subjects in their training is "Cadet in the Community". It was a privilege to know that we were able to support the local communities across the area that 1 Company covers, and for the cadets to know how we have helped those in need. I know that the items we have donated will be warmly received.’
Food banks that received donations were:
Peterborough Food Bank
The Trussell Trust Food Bank
Chatteris Food Bank
Ramsey Food Bank
Whittlesey Food bank
Yaxley Food bank
Text by P.I. Stuart with SMI Guymer and Major Deacon. Pictures provided by SMI Guymer and SMI Offer.