Sawtry's CARESCO and foodbank provide for community

John Green, local shop keeper donating bread to Sawtry Foodbank

John Green, shop keeper of Premier in Sawtry donating bread to Sawtry Foodbank - Credit: Emma Slanz

Sawtry is a large village with a thriving community. 

It has what has been described as a "very treasured" charity within the village called CARESCO and it has been a special aid to many in the community.  

Volunteers provideded a Covid-19 response team throughout the pandemic and it is run by Emma Slanz who is the manager.  

Volunteers Pat Ayres and Helen Trebes

Volunteers Pat Ayres and Helen Trebes - Credit: Emma Slanz

Emma said: “The majority of our Covid response has been delivering prescriptions and shopping trips over the last year.  

“We also ran a successful foodbank along, but the foodbank has been running previous to the lockdown.  

“The demand has surged since the pandemic started but we have managed to cope with that successfully, which has been great.  

Volunteers Pat Ayres and Helen Trebes

Volunteers Pat Ayres and Helen Trebes - Credit: Emma Slanz

“We have done the occasional post office errands, but predominantly we have been grocery shopping and delivering prescriptions."

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CARESCO have many events happening post lockdown such as quiz supper to raise money for the Green End Day Club.  

With the pandemic hitting CARESCO from a financial point of view, all of their fundraising events that they would normally plan were stopped.  

Volunteer and Cook at CARESCO Helen Trebes

Volunteer and Cook at CARESCO Helen Trebes - Credit: Emma Slanz

Emma said: “This was a shame, but we are so pleased to hold our very first event in over a year,. We will invite people in for a quiz and a meal, it is a really great atmosphere."

CARESCO will also be holding a Scarecrow competition in the village to spread some joy throughout the community.  

Emma explained that they have a big group of volunteers, she said: “We have always been very lucky, that we have been very well supported with volunteers,  

“The community really rallies round every service that we provide, but it grew, particularly with our foodbank and our Covid response.  

“We currently have 142 volunteers split over the different services we provide, some work in our shop and we have some that do the food bank.” 

Before the pandemic hit, Emma was explaining that they were, on average, distributed three parcels a week, but by August 2020 this had risen to an all time high of 33 a week.  

Emma explained some of the reasons behind this, such as school meals that were not provided for children in the summer months.  

She also stated that the foodbank is still providing between 20 to 22 a week and the need for food has risen considerably.