Gosport street of forces families makes enormous food bank donation

A STREET of naval families has shown remarkable community spirit by making a mammoth donation to their nearby food bank.

Monday, 23rd December 2019, 4:15 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th December 2019, 12:58 pm
Residents of Snape Close, Gosport, making a donation to Fareham and Gosport Basics Bank. Picture: David George

Snape Close in Rowner is a street of just 12 houses, all of which are forces families, and many with loved ones away for Christmas.

But instead of feeling sorry for absent family members, the residents have joined forces to donate more than 30 bags and boxes of food and toiletries to Fareham and Gosport Basics Bank in Westbury Road.

The donation – five cars’ worth of goods – was dropped off on Monday, with the initiative starting with ex-navy mum Claire Redstone, 37 and her children Oliver, 12, and Ella, age nine.

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Claire said: ‘Someone in the street put a post up on Facebook about how we should do things ourselves for other people to bring about change.

‘It started with us collecting just a few things but really snowballed from there – it’s really quite remarkable to see how things have turned out.

‘At this time of year we usually make a charity donation anyway, so decided to just put the money towards this instead.’

Residents up and down the street collected everything in the space of just one week, rocking up to the food bank as a convoy to deliver it.

For the Redstones, this is the first year that dad Stephen is away for Christmas, serving on board HMS Forth in the Falklands.

Oliver said: ‘I spent my pocket money on buying some of the food

‘We all got so much food that we had to bring all the cars, there's so much here.’

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It comes at what tends to be one of the busiest times of year for the food bank – but chairman Philip Rutt says the bank has been very fortunate this year.

‘This is the most food I have ever seen in here,’ he said.

‘It’s honestly quite remarkable – there have been times when the shelves were almost empty in the past, but we’ve been overwhelmed with goods and it's brilliant to see.

‘People like the residents of Snape Close have made a tremendous difference this Christmas.’