Women club together for poverty charity

5:07pm Friday 14th February 2014

TWO local families will be able to eat for almost a week thanks to a donation from Milford Haven Women’s Institute.

Around £70 worth of tinned meats, vegetables, pulses and other essentials was delivered to Hakin-based charity Pembrokeshire Action To Combat Hardship (PATCH) on Thursday (February 6).

The money was raised by WI members at their last meeting of 2013, through the sale of crafts, preserves and unwanted gifts.

Senior PATCH volunteer Carol Clayton said the food donated would help feed two local families of four for five days, providing them with breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and drinks.

WI president for 2013, Theresa Phillips, said it had been eye-opening to see the work PATCH does.

“Until you come down here, you don’t realise how much it’s needed,” she said.

“Having somewhere to go when you’re in that situation is important.”

As well as helping Pembrokeshire families in poverty, PATCH also supports young people who struggling with money, or who have moved out and can’t afford basic household items. It can also supply them with clean, smart clothes for job interviews, helping them get back on their feet and into employment.

Tristey McDermott works with Pembrokeshire County Council youth service’s Targeted Outreach Team, which helps get 16 to 25-year-olds into work, and often refers clients to PATCH.

“PATCH gives them the opportunity to get essentials they'd never be able to afford,” she said.

PATCH co-ordinator Tracy Olin said the charity is currently desperately in need of household items such as bedding, towels, kitchen utensils, and electrical items such as kettles, toaster and microwaves.

But she stressed that any donation, large or small, was always welcome.

“Every can of beans, or box - even a carrier bag - helps us. Nothing is ever too small,” she said.

For more information about PATCH, visit www.patchcharity.org.uk.

Milford Haven WI meets at St Francis church hall on the first and third Wednesday of every month. To get involved, telephone secretary Liz Bearne on 01646 692506.

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