Our new MP needs to honour his election promises

PUBLISHED: 08:00 24 December 2019

Exmouth Community Food Larder manager Anthony Bernard.

Exmouth Community Food Larder manager Anthony Bernard.


Guest columnist Anthony Bernard, of Exmouth Community Larder, says the welfare system needs a serious review.

Election promises go beyond Brexit; we need to lobby our new MP to ensure that the benefit system starts listening to the realities of disorganised and disadvantaged people and mental health gets much more attention.

People in difficulties are often not internet connected nor organised; the welfare system administration needs serious review.

Christmas should remind us that it was the rough sleepers minding sheep who were privileged to have the first news of Jesus' birth, not the great and good of society!

I heard that a youngster was declined as a shepherd in a Nativity play because he was not scruffy or smelly enough (just a story!).

But as we get immersed in the "magic" of an affluent Christmas, remember that Jesus' young mother was a refugee, his birth was in a stable, and they were soon refugees again, fleeing into Eqypt.

Foodbank demand increased 30 per cent in 2019; the "mouths we feed" has increased 50 per cent because more families are in need; a full update can be found at www.exmouthlarder.co.uk.

Thanks to the whole of greater Exmouth, we have enough supplies and reserves to support the need for the moment, and hope support continues.

All money goes on supplies; no-one gets paid, not even mileage for deliveries!

With record numbers attending recently, the team has kept up well.

It is good to report younger volunteers.

In our comfortable corner of a very troubled world, Christmas is a good time to realise how the first Christmas came to disadvantaged people in a society full of refugees!!

They still need our help!!

Christmas is a time when stresses are at their worst for many people.

The Larder helps with food but can also give some comradeship.

Being hungry is not a good place to regain self-esteem after troubling events and difficult relationships.

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