Volunteers and donations keep many of our friends and neighbours going.

Some of them need help; many others want the feeling of having helped others in this muddled world. There is a minority of people for whom the wars in Gaza and Ukraine, sewage in the water, and potholes in the roads are not so important while they are struggling for help and support from the rest of us. Their list of problems includes homelessness, mental or physical health problems and disabilities, and a long list through to refugees relying on what we can offer.

In Exmouth we are privileged to have a good contingent of affluent and generous residents. These maintain the Food Bank, the Open Door Centre and many other groups. Many shops are raising money for charities ranging from home care for terminally ill, the Air Ambulance, lifeboats, mental health problems and Citizens Advice to steer the needy to their best source of help.

The election brings promises from all quarters that everything will be better! Let's hope so! But many of the disadvantaged in our society have particular problems that slip through the gaps in whatever improved benefit or care scheme might be established. These schemes are created by people who are orderly and organised; the most needy people are disorganised, and don't fit into any established scheme.

Voluntary organisations are needed to fill the gaps in whatever benefit system is in place, especially when internet connection is required. The Open Door Centre, Glenorchy Job Café and many others have laptops available for those that need to go online.

The majority of those currently seeking help from the Food Bank are families struggling to put food on the table towards the end of the month, adding to the total of 905 parcels, feeding 1867 people, for the three months to 1st June. The Food Bank also works with EDDC’s resettlement team, supporting families with indefinite leave to remain in the UK but in emergency accommodation with little or no money for food, and also respond to help people struggling with complex medical and mental health needs, referred by social services and GP surgeries.

The Food Bank is based at the Salvation Army Hall, Sheppard's Row, EX8 1PW, opposite Glenorchy Church on the Exeter Road. It is open for donations from 10am-3pm on Tuesdays and Fridays, and to collect food from 1.30-3pm. In a crisis, call 07749 322291. Your donations provide the supplies; all the staff volunteer their time and energy for free.

Loneliness and mental health are also in crisis. Anyone and everyone is welcome in the warm and friendly community café at the Open Door Centre, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays from 9:30am to 3:00pm. There is good quality food and drink at competitive prices, and a team of volunteers with time to listen! Nearly 18,000 visits were made in 2023 to the various services provided by the Open Door Centre!

Citizens Advice at 67, Exeter Rd., provides a wide range of support and advice, but phone for an appointment on 01395 265070. The Food Bank often has a CA support worker available.

These key groups and others cover basics for needy people. Check their websites for details!

We need this collaborative spirit in today's world. To repeat the caption seen at a New York food bank: "One Creator, One Planet, One Family" should sum it up for all of us!