11th Aug, 2020

A lorry load of help for those in need

Rob George 31st Jul, 2020

A COMPASSIONATE lorry driver has delivered a £1,000 cash boost to Worcester Foodbank after organising a fund-raising convoy.

Billy Diamond handed over the money to the Lowesmoor charity which was awarded a share of the £4,600 raised by 200 truckers who drove from Cannock to Strensham services and back again in support of the county’s foodbanks.

It was just one of a series of convoys that took place during late May on motorways including the M5, M25, M60 and M3 as part of a national effort to help foodbanks deal with the surge in referrals during coronavirus. About £23,000 was raised nationally.

In Worcester the foodbank has seen demand for its help rise by about 70 per cent compared to this time last year.

But volunteers fear there is worst to come as Government emergency support schemes are slowly withdrawn and the local economy braces itself for a wave of redundancies.

Billy, from Droitwich, said he had felt compelled to take action while sitting in his cab listening to a story on the radio of a widowed mother of three who had been forced to turn to a foodbank.

“The foodbank had actually run out of supplies but the volunteer took £20 out of her own purse and gave it to the mother whose children had not eaten for more than 24 hours – in that moment I knew I had to do something,” Billy said.

“Within three weeks – and despite all the coronavirus restrictions – I was able to organise the convoy and the response was absolutely amazing.”

Grahame Lucas, Worcester Foodbank manager, added: “Billy’s enthusiasm for fund-raising is infectious and we’re so grateful to him and everyone who was involved in the convoy for this cash boost. The next few months could well be the most challenging we have ever faced but donations like this will help us to keep providing a lifeline to those worst affected by the economic storm that is brewing.”

Billy is already planning to organise another fund-raising convoy next year which he hopes will conclude with a large scale event in Worcester.

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