Pentonville prisoners save allowance to donate to Islington and Camden foodbank

Priest in charge Pete Hughes speaking at St Saviour's Church in Islington at its launch service of t

Priest in charge Pete Hughes speaking at St Saviour's Church in Islington at its launch service of the partnership between KXC last year. Picture: Submitted by St Saviour's Church - Credit: Archant

Pentonville prisoners donated their own canteen allowance to an Islington foodbank during the coronavirus pandemic.

Priest in charge Pete Hughes speaking at St Saviour's Church in Islington at its launch service of t

Priest in charge Pete Hughes speaking at St Saviour's Church in Islington at its launch service of the partnership between KXC last year. Picture: Submitted by St Saviour's Church - Credit: Archant

St Saviour’s and King’s Cross (KXC) churches, on Hanley Road and Pentonville Road respectively, have given away 1,355 food parcels in 570 deliveries by more than 50 volunteers since April.

Some of the food came from people incarcerated at HMP Pentonville, who used their own allowance to buy the supplies.

In June, Tottenham MP David Lammy wrote on Facebook: “Even with limited resources, they (prisoners) still wanted to help others in need.

“A reminder that prisoners are part of our community and that, to get through this crisis, we all need to look out for each other.”

Priest in charge Pete Hughes speaking at St Saviour's Church in Islington at its launch service of t

Priest in charge Pete Hughes speaking at St Saviour's Church in Islington at its launch service of the partnership between KXC last year. Picture: Submitted by St Saviour's Church - Credit: Archant


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St Saviour’s and KXC made 600 phone calls to 130 households in Camden and Islington about receiving a parcel ahead of drop off, in order to find out about their needs.

READ MORE: Islington Food Bank set to close due to dwindling donations and risk of passing on Covid-19Church member Finja Schmidt said: “I feel like we have become closer as a community over lockdown - we’ve had to be more intentional about meeting virtually.

“But it will be such a treat to see everyone in real life; I think it will feel very celebratory.”

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During coronavirus, St Saviour’s has also made headway in transforming its formerly derelict church garden into a community space.

Priest in charge Pete Hughes speaking at St Saviour's Church in Islington at its launch service of t

Priest in charge Pete Hughes speaking at St Saviour's Church in Islington at its launch service of the partnership between KXC last year. Picture: Submitted by St Saviour's Church - Credit: Archant

Volunteers from the church have cleared rubble, dug and weeded the 1,000sqm space to make the area usable for the first time in 22 years.

Congregation member Mark Diamond spent days single-handedly building a play structure in the garden, including a 10-metre high rope swing.

The new garden has been designed for a variety of uses, such as kids’ and gardening clubs and planting for ecological diversity.

A spokesperson from the church thanked Frank Owusu Aboagye and Barry Rowland of developer Telford Homes, which has donated £5,000 to the project at the rubble-clearing stage.

Priest in charge Pete Hughes speaking at St Saviour's Church in Islington at its launch service of t

Priest in charge Pete Hughes speaking at St Saviour's Church in Islington at its launch service of the partnership between KXC last year. Picture: Submitted by St Saviour's Church - Credit: Archant

The foodbank’s storage facilities are currently being moved to a different part of the church so the operation can continue when services resume on September 20.

Congregation numbers will be limited to 50 people, but it will also be live streamed at www.stsaviours.church.

The St Saviour’s and KXC food bank accepts financial donations at bankuet.co.uk.

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