Clare Davies – what an incredible woman, what an incredible team.
Hello Dorking had the pleasure of talking with Clare some weeks back about how her incredible scheme set up with Tony White in September 2017.
The inspiration came to Clare after watching an item about food waste on the Channel 4 Show ‘Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast’. It just so happened that Tony White was watching the same show and felt the same inspiration.
We wanted to talk to Clare after seeing a post on social media about a thank you note that was sent to Clare, thanking her for the food drop. It was a delivery Dorking Community Fridge had made to a nurse during her shift, in the peak of the COVID crisis.
Once the nurse had finished a 24-hour shift, she was exhausted. She knew she had no food at home. The shops were closed, and she was exhausted. All she wanted to do was climb into bed. She was tired and hungry. When the nurse arrived at her home, there it was waiting for her -her food drop! There were a few random items and some bananas – the nurse was thrilled! There was enough food there to make a hearty soup for two days. She couldn’t thank Dorking Community Fridge enough.
As we settle into the new normal a time that we know now of as COVID, Dorking Community Fridge has never been so busy. They are shifting tons and tons of food a week to people who are vulnerable, shielded and on the frontline. This is not forgetting the hundreds of people they were helping beforehand.
Clare is a resilient woman who wears her heart on her sleeve. She is passionate and committed to Mole Valley and Dorking Community Fridge. She is well thought of throughout the community and just listening to her stories of how vulnerable people are is deeply upsetting to hear.
So how does Dorking Community Fridge work? Professional organisations such as Social Care, MVDV, Schools, support charities, supporting NHS workers, as well as those who are shielded and who cannot leave their houses for any reason, are referred to Dorking Community Fridge.
Over the years they have been operating they have been known as a lifeline many times over, but now, and in COVID, the problem has magnified and they are providing food and support to many people who are really struggling and often have no food in the house.
On talking to Clare and asking what Hello Dorking can do to help, and indeed the Dorking community. Clare simply replies –
“Funding. Before COVID, costs were covered somewhat by individual donations and larger funding awards, but we have upscaled threefold since then, and our costs have therefore increased.”
“We need funds to continue what we are doing, which is providing a weekly bag or two of food for people who are referred to us by the professionals. Funds are needed to help us run the van, which will help with tax, insurance and fuel.’’
This is not the only cost they have to incur. Other costs are;
£10 1000 paper bags
£20 Box of sanitiser bottles
£25 Puts diesel in the van for a day to collect 750kg of food!
£40 Pays for the delivery fee for 300kg load making 70 food bags
£150 Pays for the van on the road for a day, with collection fees, diesel, insurance etc.
£500 Approximate current weekly running
costs for the bag drop operation
On hearing more stories about how vulnerable people are in one of the wealthiest counties in England, it is easy to see how this effects Clare and see the humanitarian that she is.
Clare stresses that she does not like to ask for help, but we all need help, and we all need to support each other, more now than before.
If you want to help Dorking Community Fridge and help thousands of people in Dorking and the Mole Valley, you can donate by clicking through to their website.
It was an absolute pleasure to interview and get to know Clare, and we are honoured to help in any way we can.
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