April 14 2020

Graham Peart, Chair One Can Trust:

“This is such a difficult, challenging and distressing time for every single one of us. I sincerely hope that everyone’s coping as best they can and has the support they need. For the One Can Trust, the situation has presented many new challenges which the team here, largely made up of our incredible volunteers, is doing its best to meet, with the vital support of our fantastic local community.

Anyone who knows about the work of the One Can Trust will be only too aware that there were already many vulnerable individuals and families across Wycombe and South Bucks before this crisis hit.  Since Lockdown we’ve seen a surge in demand: in recent weeks, it’s almost doubled, and we’re expecting it to rise further still over the coming weeks, as more people find themselves out of work and having to claim universal credit. It really is a huge concern.

So we’ve reached out to our local community to ask for more support – to local residents, to partners and businesses. It’s a hard ask when it’s so tough for us all but the community has listened and the response so far, has been amazing.

So many people are playing a part in enabling our organisation to provide essential food to this increasing number of families and individuals. We all seem to get that we need to look after each other. I’d like to thank every single person who’s done something, whatever your contribution may have been, it’s making a huge difference.

I mentioned our volunteers earlier and they really are the backbone of our organisation – sorting, packing, carrying, splitting food into portions and now driving it to people’s doorsteps to minimise the risk of spreading the virus. We’ve got some new faces on board, as others have had to self-isolate, and everyone has adapted to the changes seamlessly.

The general public have also been brilliant. Many have acted on our request for online cash donations which means we can look to buy essential items cost effectively and, crucially, build up a bit of a ‘war chest’, for the unpredictable times ahead.

The collection points are still in the supermarkets, so thanks too to those who continue to donate (tinned meat, long-life milk, tinned veg and cooking sauces are most needed, please), when it’s already stressful enough buying your own groceries! We’ve also had members of the public buy our staff gloves and stationary for the office, a lady from Marlow doing her own crowdfunder and a lady in Wooburn Green who became our first Street Hero with a pop-up collection point for her neighbours – and others have now been inspired to follow her lead! Thanks to all of you and a special thank you to the anonymous donor who is working with Lacey’s Farm to provide us with fresh fruit and vegetables. Just incredible!

We have some truly brilliant partners who are really going the extra mile for us. Wycombe Wanderers have raised almost £5,000. That’s around 75 family food parcels and we are so thankful to the fans and players who donated. We are also receiving tremendous support from our churches and mosques, including Trinity and WISE, and are working together with Buckinghamshire Council. I mustn’t forget our local media too, especially Wycombe Sound, and all the ‘sharers’ on social media who are helping to spread the word.

The response from our business community has also been strong. MnS Beaconsfield and Wycombe, Waitrose Wycombe, Lidl Wycombe and Tesco Wycombe, Booker and Hatters Lane have all answered our call for bags for life, which has meant we haven’t yet had to buy them. We’ve also received gloves from All Sorts hardware in Beaconsfield. Morrisons, MnS and Waitrose are donating food and we’re also being supported by RH Amar, in Cressex, High Wycombe Lions, Wycombe Rotary, Inner Wheel, Marlow and Marlow Thames Rotary, Red Kite and Chiltern Business Connections.

All sectors of the community are coming together and it’s truly humbling and incredible what we can achieve for those who are really in need at this time. It sounds like a lot of support and it is a lot of support but we still need more; we can’t rest on our laurels – there’s a long road ahead and we’re going to need to the continued support of our community going forward.

For now though, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has done something and I apologise if I have inadvertently missed anyone out! It makes me truly proud to be part of this local community.  I wish you all well and please stay safe. Let’s get through this together!”