Bicester Foodbank founder, Janet Ray, has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Janet founded the Food Bank in 2006 and ran it until June 2021, expanding from a one-day-a week project based in a church, to a community-based service with widespread support. During this time, she was also the principal fund raiser, raising almost a quarter of a million pounds. In addition to this work, Janet organised and served meals on Christmas Day to client families for many years.
Janet was proactive in recruiting, training, and developing teams of volunteers to carry out the work and, through the Trussell Trust network, she has supported other Food Banks by transferring food stock to them when they faced shortages, thereby helping clients further afield.
The pandemic saw an increase in demand from clients needing additional support, as well as the need for the adaptation of new working methods and volunteer retraining. Managed by Janet, the Foodbank dealt with over 4,500 clients receiving 32,000 kilogrammes of food support in the year April 2020 to March 2021.
Janet has led and developed Bicester Foodbank through periods of significant change and service transformation. It now has its own dedicated, wheel chair accessible Client Centre, open five days a week, benefitting from funds Janet raised. The Centre has been newly fitted out to meet the client’s needs in terms of sociable contact and privacy as well as food storage and distribution, all still much in demand in these difficult times.
For more information contact Matthew Clements 01869 388878 or 07786 321430 or [email protected]