Andover Foodbank winners of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2022 (now King’s Award for Voluntary Service), were offered two places to a Royal Garden Party. So that all their amazing volunteers had a chance of attending they held a ballot. Frid and Janet Brender, who have helped for over ten years at the foodbank won the draw and would celebrate a wonderful day at Buckingham Palace.
Here they comment on their day out:
‘What a surprise it was when we had an email to tell us our name’s had been picked from the hat to represent the food bank at the Royal Garden Party. It took me a long time to realise it was really going to happen. What an honour! We felt very proud to be there.
Our eldest daughter who was visiting from the States arranged for our nephew who is a London cabbie to collect us and ferry us to and from the palace so we felt like royalty ourselves.
Our prayers were answered and the weather was perfect: sunshine and zero rain. The huge garden was brimming with rhododendrons and camellias around a huge lake. The whole occasion was immaculately organised despite the reports saying there were 8000 people there. The food was delicious and there were no long queues.
We were lucky enough to be in the lane of people the king was greeting so we got quite close to him. There were many others interesting guests to talk to and spread the word.
To top it off our grandson had cycled 10 miles to meet us at the gates when we left and escort us to our taxi’.
The Andover foodbank was started in March 2006 to provide emergency food boxes to people in crisis in and around Andover. They operate from a warehouse and office in Alexandra Road. They employ a part time Andover foodbank Manager and a Warehouse Supervisor, and have more than 60 volunteers.
They are a community based project using resources within the local community to support those in need. They receive support from churches, schools, groups and companies across Andover and work with more than 70 local charities and agencies. In addition to the distribution of food and other items they offer support to help people address the underlying issues behind their crisis.