The well publicised difficulties that many families and individuals are experiencing at this time of pandemic is a source of much sadness. The situation is equally true in the South and East of Birmingham where Narthex operates. Demand for the Foodbank and also our Money Advice service has been very significant and shows no sign of abating but rather is expected to continue to grow.
How does this bring anyone joy, relief perhaps? For the team at Narthex we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of both food donors and financial donors who have turned round a very difficult situation. The new enlarged space at the Foodbank which, when we moved there in 2017, looked cavernous, is now fully utilised. We stack food up to the ceiling and are able to utilise the space for proper stock rotation with the help of a forklift truck. Greatly increased demand is being well supported by generous donations.
However we have now run out of space to receive and sort donations; this has resulted in the temporary hire of additional adjacent space. Business growth is usually a reason for rejoicing but this is growth that we would rather not have!
It has today been announced in the London Gazette that the charity Narthex Sparkhill has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
Narthex Sparkhill Charity is Based at St John’s Church in Sparkhill. During the last year over 100 volunteers have contributed almost 25,000 volunteering hours, supporting the 16 projects Narthex Sparkhill runs including Sparkhill Foodbank and its satellites, Resource Centre for Asylum Seekers Refugees and those in crisis, Advice Centre, Elderly Support including Lunch Club and Tea Dances, Boys Youth Group, Men’s Club, Support for those who have suffered Domestic Abuse or Trafficking, Support for Carers
Rev John Self and Mr Nigel Brookhouse, Chair of the Trustees and CEO of Narthex Sparkhill attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace on 24th May 2016 where they met the Queen and other winners of this year’s award.