Handover of Mercedes Vito Van to East Bristol Foodbank

A group of nine students from four secondary schools in South Gloucestershire, on the Work2Learn Schools Programme, has been attending The Wheels Project’s ‘Community Vehicle’ Course every Friday over the past 3 terms.  During this time they have been renovating a Mercedes Vito Van to MOT standard. They chose to gift the vehicle to the East Bristol Foodbank based at the Community Café in Easton.  The vehicle was officially handed over to Andy Irwin, East Bristol Foodbanks Manager, on Friday 17 May.

Whilst at Wheels the students have also gained OCR qualifications in Motor Vehicle Studies, undertaken first aid training and enjoyed several karting events.

4 students have moved on to take further training in motor vehicle studies with the city of Bristol college and S&B Training.

This course was supported by a grant from the Henry Smith Charity and the vehicle was originally donated to The Wheels Project by Avon and Somerset Constabulary.

The East Bristol Foodbank is one of over 275 foodbanks in the Trussell Trust network which works in partnership with local churches and organisations to bring foodbanks to communities across the UK.  It relies on food donations to feed local people in crisis and can provide a minimum of three days nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food.  East Bristol Foodbank is part of Crisis Centre Ministries and will share the van with its partner project, The Wild Goose.

Andy Irwin, East Bristol Foodbanks Manager said, ‘This gift of a van from The Wheels Project has come at exactly the right time for Crisis Centre Ministries two projects. As a Foodbank we have just opened our second outlet in Easton and we have to transport two car loads of food from our Warehouse at Big Yellow Self Storage to them each week. The Wild Goose, a homeless drop in centre in Easton, needs a van with enough space to transport fresh food safely in the correct containers in one load. This project can feed up to 400 people a day and transports large amounts of food each week.  We can share the van and make great use of it.’  He added,  ‘It offers us the opportunity, as a Foodbank, to consider delivering food in the future to some people who cannot reach our Foodbank for health reasons, something that concerns us in these difficult times.’

In the photo are some of the students with their course completion certificates and staff from East Bristol Foodbank, Work2Learn and The Wheels Project.


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