Bedford Foodbank severs links with charity that has raised donations of more than £50k

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Decision made because vouchers were donated instead of money or food

Bedford Foodbank has severed links with a charity that has supported it with donations of more than £50,000 over the past nine years.

The foodbank said it made the decision after the convention donated vouchers instead of money or food – which caused ‘logistical challenges’.

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Bedford Who Charity Con, founded in 2015, said it was disappointed with the decision.

A Daleks pictured in BedfordA Daleks pictured in Bedford
A Daleks pictured in Bedford

In a statement on its Facebook page it said: “They’ve told us they refuse to accept any more donations from us after this year. We’ve been told that the board of trustees were unanimous in deciding to do this. This is all very, very sad.

“It can’t be emphasised too much, though, that the overwhelming majority of volunteers and staff at the Foodbank are the nicest, most generous and compassionate people you could hope to meet. The trustees’ decision in no way characterises Bedford Foodbank as a whole. They’re feeding more than 2000 people a month in the Bedford area, and without their work, which is undertaken with enormous dedication and enthusiasm, a great many people would simply go hungry. A third of their clients are children.

“The conventions (and the smaller activities we’ve run) have made £46,693 for the Foodbank over the years. Bedford Who Charity Con 7, of which Foodbank were the sole beneficiaries, was the biggest fundraising event of any kind in the Foodbank’s history; it generated more than £10,000. And, in fact, Bedford Who Charity Con was founded back in 2015 solely in order to raise money for them.”

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“Sadly, too, the current board of trustees have almost without exception been appointed long after the conventions were founded. The enthusiasm of the original board for the cons, back in 2015, is just no longer there among the trustees.

“We realise that letting you know about all this is going to cause a great deal of offence, hurt, and anger, and we’re very sorry. All we can say is that the situation is not of our making. But it would be wrong not to pass on the news. After all, the trustees’ decision is a huge slap in the face to everyone who’s worked so hard at the cons on the Foodbank’s behalf, and who’ve been so generous with their time and with their donations.

A spokesperson for Bedford Foodbank, said: “We are extremely grateful to Bedford Who Charity Con for the generous support that they have previously provided to us.

“Unfortunately, last year the convention took the decision to donate vouchers instead of money or food, which caused logistical challenges for our food bank. In anticipation of this happening again we reached out to the event coordinators to recommend, for future events, alternative organisations within the area who could better benefit from their generosity.

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“Bedford Foodbank’s priority is to ensure that we are able to provide emergency support to people who are struggling to get by. The nature of last year’s donation from Bedford Who Charity Con limited our ability to do this.”

But Bedford Who Charity Con added: “As the refusal to accept our donations breaks the law, a formal complaint has been lodged with Bedford Foodbank. The relevant bodies who regulate these things have also been informed.”

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