PATCH gears up for the most economically crippling winter in living memory

Charity PATCH says it is under huge strain as winter approaches
Charity PATCH says it is under huge strain as winter approaches

AS the people of Pembrokeshire prepare for what looks set to be one of the most economically crippling winters in living memory, PATCH are finding themselves under increasing pressure to cover the demands.

Figures for August showed that a total of 903 food parcels were provided which marked a 30 per cent increase for the same period in 2021.

But as the temperatures continue to drop, their demands are going to continue to rise sharply.

“We’re currently doing all we can to keep up, but we’re getting to the point where we need all the support we can get,” said PATCH’s director, Dave Golding.

“Our volunteers are currently making a lot of deliveries but naturally we would prefer to see the money being spent on food rather than petrol.

"This is why we’re keen to see our outreach posts, which operate from Pembroke Dock and Haverfordwest, being used on a wider basis.”

Redhill School recently handed over their Harvest offerings to PATCH

PATCH is also keen to establish stronger links with the local café and restaurant community who can help stock the ‘Community Fridge’ scheme which operates in Tenby.

“Quite a few restaurants are already supporting this by giving us all their excess food, but naturally this is something that we’d like to build on in the coming months.”

Patch – Pembrokeshire Action to Combat Hardship – is a registered charity that was established in 2008 to provide free food parcels, clothing and other essential household items to people in Pembrokeshire who are facing financial crisis.

They work closely with referral agencies such as health workers, support agencies, Citizens Advice and social services who provide their clients with ‘Basics Bank’ vouchers.

“Sadly, because of the current cost of living crisis, we’re now seeing a strong shift away from our traditional PATCH client with the result that we’re now helping a complete cross-section of society although people with young children and single people are still the largest group,” continued Dave Golding.

“Naturally the most obvious thing we need is money to buy the food but we’re also asking people to help by buying just a few extra items when they go shopping. And we’re talking about very basic things like a tin of beans or a bag of pasta which they can just leave at the drop-off points which they’ll see in all the major supermarkets."

Dave went on to say that the cost of buying enough food to feed a family of four for five days is £42 while for a single person that figure stands at £19.

“The support we’re being shown, particularly at the moment during the Harvest Festival season when schools and churches are donating all their produce to us, is fantastic. But please keep on thinking about us over the coming months. Just a few extra items will go a very long way to helping those most at need.”

Sharon Knox from Stepaside Chapel hands over the harvest donation to PATCH

If anyone can spare a few hours a week to help out as a volunteer, they can contact Dave on Dave.patchcharity@outlook.com  or drop in to the PATCH offices at 81 Charles Street, Milford Haven.