Testimony from our client Gemma

18th December 2017

If someone comes to use our Foodbank we will of course keep their visit confidential. We don’t share details with anyone without permission, but some clients are happy to share their stories with us and with the public, and we find that this is really helpful to enlighten people about what drives someone to use a Foodbank.

Our client Gemma needed to use us last year and was happy to share her story, so thank you Gemma.

In July 2015, I made a big move away from my home, family & friends in West Yorkshire to the Village of Cockerham with my 2 boys aged 7 & 11 at the time.
In September my 2 boys started started school & me at Uni doing a top up degree in Land Management.
Due to a relapse in my mental health I finished my course early (December 2015).
But, due to my student finance finishing & my Universal Credit claiming I had already had sufficient enough finance to see me through until April, I found myself in a situation where I was living in the middle of nowhere (3 mile from closest shop) with only a few pound in my purse for diesel to get my son to school & nothing else.
I spoke to the Citizens Advice Bureau about my situation & they offered me support with help feeding my family with a food bank voucher.
I was so scared being alone not knowing where my next meal was coming from, this also had an impact on my mental health & pushing me deeper into the black hole, but i knew I needed to feed my children.
So, literally my car by this point was almost empty of diesel I drove to CAB in lancaster & due to it being a certain day my nearest food bank was closed, so I had the option of waiting until the next day or going to the Morecambe Bay food bank.
To be honest at this point I was in Lancaster & had to think of the best way to utilise my diesel, I certainly couldn’t risk traveling back home to then come back the day after & running the risk of running out of diesel.
It sounds so far fetched now but in those few days I was really in a place I hope I never visit again, the depths of depression.

I was so worried about going to the food bank, I remember being sat in my car outside thinking ‘do I really need to go in?’ I did, but oh my, I really didn’t want to. But as soon as I walked in a lovely lady came & greeted me, offered me a coffee, & I didn’t feel one bit as I thought I would, god bless her & her lovely team, I felt like they were my personal shoppers (no disrespect) but they really did wait on me & made sure I had enough of everything & even gave me chocolate biscuits for the boys.

I really was so grateful I actually cried once I got outside, not because I was sad but because those people did something for me that day that possibly changed my life. I also made a promise to myself that once I got back on my feet I would repay the food bank.
We now have a box in our local shop that I donate something in to. Especially chocolate biscuits.

So from the bottom of my heart I thank you.
Kind regards

Gemma Murphy.

If you are in need of help from the Foodbank please don’t worry about coming to see us – we promise you a warm welcome! You need a red voucher before you can get food from us, about which you can find on our ‘Get Help‘ page.

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