Woodies help the homeless

For the last week 700 young people have been camping at the Drum Hill Scout Camp at Long Eaton just north of Derby.  On this occasion they were not Scouts or Guides, but from a different youth organisation also with worldwide links – The Woodcraft Folk.

We first heard about them when our children were young – through a fellow Liberal Democrat – and two of our children found their self-managed style and strong social and environmental priorities appealing. 

This was a national event – Venturer Camp 2013, or simply “V Camp”, for 13-15 year olds from across the UK.  When we arrived on Sunday afternoon they were in the last stages of clearing up.  Our son had phoned asking for help with transport, not just for himself, but for the surplus food. 

The Woodies team with the car and trailer full of surplus food.

The Woodies team with the car and trailer full of surplus food.

While catering was done in separate areas – different ‘villages’ of local Woodcraft groups – most of the food purchasing had been done centrally.  Inevitably this meant that there was food left.  Some items went home with groups or individuals and some was being kept centrally.  However this still left a heap of stuff which needed a new home.

 With help from the organising team, the back of our car and our small trailer were filled with the remaining food which we delivered to the Padley Centre in Derby that evening.

Unloading the food at the Padley Centre in Derby.

The Padley Group is Derby’s charity working with people often at the margins of society – homeless, addicts, long-term unemployed, ex-prisoners and others.  I spoke with Pat Zadora, the Group chair yesterday when we delivered our load of food.  She mentioned their appeal to secure long term financial security for their services like the hostel which enables people to move from homelessness into the mainstream.

Reaction to this has been encouraging, but more supporters are still needed.  If you, or people you know, support the important work that Padley are doing in Derby, please consider joining those who are giving £2 per month to make a real difference to people’s lives.  Or you can get in touch to offer help as a volunteer.

Three years ago, our son was also a volunteer at V Camp, and we had delivered surplus food to Padley.  Our son may not be at the next V Camp in three years’ time.  If it is again held at Drum Hill and there is surplus food available, we hope that Padley will again benefit.  And if we aren’t available to provide transport, then I hope that someone else will be able to.

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