CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Help foodbanks make Christmas

Who’s been making the news round your way this week?

01 November, 2019 — By Helen Chapman

Tesco are collecting charity food donations

Trussell Trust and FareShare are appealing to volunteers in Islington for a food bank collection. From Thursday November 21 until Saturday November 23 the two charities will be collecting at the Tesco Metros in Islington Green and Highbury.

They are looking for local people to encourage shoppers to donate, so that as much food as possible can be collected. Customers are asked to give long-life food to help food banks and community groups support people in need at Christmas. Tesco will top up customer donations by 20 per cent to further support the two charities in their work.

Last year, 3.5 million meals were collected as part of the Tesco Food Collection, and since its launch in 2012, more than 50 million meals have been donated to the two charities by generous Tesco shoppers. To make this year’s collection a success volunteers are needed to hand out shopping lists to customers, so they can see the food items most needed.

Emma Revie, chief executive at Trussell Trust, says: “No one should need a food bank at any time of year – but we know during the lead-up to Christmas our network of food banks see even more people needing help.

“Food banks will be doing all they can to provide vital emergency support so people don’t face hunger this Christmas. But to make sure there are enough donations, we need your support. Having your support in this year’s Tesco Food Collection will make a real difference – the more people who volunteer, the more food will be collected from generous shoppers, and the better prepared food banks will be to help local people.”

Interested volunteers can find out more and sign up at www.fareshare/tescofoodcollection

A matter of life and death for Akua

Akua Kezia spreading the word about organ donation

A young woman from Upper Holloway said she didn’t plan to become an author.

But Akua Kezia, 24, started writing a diary at university and it spiralled from there.

“When I started university I was in a really dark place,” says Akua. “Writing was therapeutic for me. I started writing a diary and it developed into a book. I thought this could not necessarily be for me but can really help a lot of people in my situation.

“I had no clue where the decision to start writing came from. I never had a passion to become an author. Something I never thought of doing gave me the most closure.”

The book was published on July 21 last year – the eighth anniversary of her liver transplant.

The Transplant Girl

Akua was diagnosed with auto-immune hepatitis when she was 14 years old as a student at Acland Burghley.

Now she wants to spread the word ahead of the changes to the organ donor register which is to change next spring to “opt-out”.

Akua said: “I was on the donor register for two days. But some are not as fortunate. Some people are still waiting and others have passed since then [being on the list]. It is just not fair. It is very difficult. I was very young when I was in that situation.”

Akua is now volunteering with the NHS to help promote organ donation and next week she will be speaking at Manchester University. “It’s to help people understand organ donation and the decision they are making,” she says.

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