A VOLUNTEER is being recognised for his incredible support by anti-food poverty charity the Trussell Trust.

Retired Paul Chatterton, started volunteering at Middlewich and District Foodbank last February, just before the first lockdown.

The 59-year-old has been tirelessly helping to deliver emergency food and support to families in crisis across the local area ever since.

When many of the foodbank’s regular volunteers were forced to isolate, Paul helped to ensure that emergency food and support continued to reach people in crisis across the local area.

As part of Volunteers' Week which runs until June 7, Paul is being recognised. for his outstanding contribution to the cause over the past 16 months.

When the pandemic hit in March, Paul took control of the foodbank’s warehouse with the aim of keeping it safe and well organised.

He ordered and built new metal racking and rearranged the way that food was picked from the shelves, making it easier and quicker.

He also introduced a delivery note to help the drivers and, on his days off, Paul collected and delivered food.

Paul, from Middlewich, said: “What I really like about volunteering is that, despite all the sad stories we hear from people coming to foodbanks we also hear good stories.

"We hear of people who, thanks to our help, find their way out of poverty and don’t have to rely on foodbanks anymore.

“When I retired, I was looking not just to get involved in the community, but also to find a way to give back and make a difference.

"That’s what brought me to Middlewich Foodbank, where I had the support of a good team of other volunteers.

"I feel honoured to be recognised for my contribution."

READ > Mum conquers gruelling challenge to keep son's memory alive

Foodbanks in the Trussell Trust’s network distributed 9,232 emergency food parcels to people facing crisis in Cheshire East between April 2020 and March 2021.

This is an increase on the previous year when 4,396 parcels were provided.

Trussell Trust head of volunteer management Miranda Beebe said: “We are incredibly grateful to the amazing army of volunteers who have kept food banks running in very challenging circumstances.

“It’s thanks to people like Paul that food banks have been able to provide the lifeline of emergency food and additional support to thousands of people in crisis over the last year.

“Now, more than ever, we need the support of our volunteers to help ensure that our foodbanks can continue to provide this help to people who need it. But ultimately, no one should need to use a foodbank to get by.

"Everyone should be able to afford the basics in life. That’s why we’re working nationally to campaign for a hunger free future.”

To volunteer visit trusselltrust.org