Show of kindness helps keep people from going hungry this Christmas

Exmouth foodbank

Exmouth Rowing Club donates to Opendoor Foodbank L to R: Maureen Jackman (Open Door), Suzanne Isaacs (ERC), Shiela Houghton (ERC), Lisa Pike (Open Door). - Credit: Graham Hurley

Covid or not, there are still constants in life. One of them is Christmas, and another is need. Put the two together, and the Exmouth community can create something truly festive.

It starts with a couple of organisations that are already keeping heads above water. You’ll find Exmouth Open Door at St Saviour’s House in Church Street. A staff of 13 plus 75 volunteers run six different projects across the community. One of them, the Community Café, offers a low-cost hot lunch three days a week (on Monday, Wednesday and Friday)

Project Manager, Lisa Pike, said: "Social isolation and loneliness are very real for many people. We care passionately that everyone has enough to eat but we also want to offer a café setting where friendships can be made, the support offered, and a listening ear is always available."

Lisa’s latest scheme has been a voucher scheme in collaboration with the Exmouth Food Bank, which operates a drop-in from the Salvation Army in Sheppards’ Row, off Exeter Road, on Tuesdays and Fridays, plus a delivery service. Every £5 donation buys a voucher which goes into a box of food and can be exchanged for one of Open Door’s lunches.

Exmouth Rowing Club's Suzanne Isaacs and Shiela Houghton have charmed local businesses into donating tasty prizes in the club’s Christmas party raffle, with the money raised going straight to Open Door. 

Raffle prizes have come from businesses around the town. "It’s just such a brilliant thing to be able to do," said Suzanne. "There’s so much goodwill out there, and it’s a privilege to be able to help."

The voucher scheme was developed with the help of her team, and to her delight, it’s been a real success. Lisa Pike said: "We were aiming to sell 150 vouchers, but so far we’ve sold nearly twice that."

Most Read

A donation of just £5 will keep putting food on the Open Door tables and keep a very special team of volunteers behind the Open Door ready to make a difference to those who need that little bit of extra help.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter