Two cheques have been presented to Bucks Angels and the other for the Disraeli Foodbank based at the Pastures Church.

Labour politician Khalil Ahmed had made an application for funding for both causes from the £250k Buckinghamshire coronavirus fund which was set up to help voluntary groups throughout the county in assisting with helping vulnerable people.

Cllr Ahmed wrote a letter to all of the residents of his ward in Disraeli to offer help and support if they needed it.

At the end of March they were delivered and had set up a process so that Cllr Ahmed's team could deal with most requests, but any residents who couldn't afford food would be referred to a new local organisation, Seerah Today.

Local Downley resident Melanie Smith who was helping co-ordinate the Disraeli requests began to help Seerah Today with their food deliveries across Wycombe and at the same time had signed up to become a Downley Street Rep, where each street in Downley had a nominated rep to look after their residents.

At the beginning of April Melanie delivered a food parcel for Seerah Today to a Disraeli resident who hadn't eaten for two days, after she had lost her job a few weeks before.

The reaction from the resident had a profound effect on Melanie and she discussed with Cllr Ahmed and Trevor Snaith, another community volunteer, what could be done.

It became apparent that the residents of Downley really wanted to provide essential food for vulnerable people, and so along with Ant Lee, the Pastor at The Pastures Church, the idea of a local Foodbank was created.

Within just a couple of days donations started flooding in, and the Downley and Disraeli Foodbank was created.

They currently provide food parcels to any resident of Downley or Disraeli who needs help with the motto is 'We give without judgement or question'.

After a week or so of running the food bank they invited Rachel Stevens, the founder of Bucks Angels, to come and see the operation in progress.


Cllr Ahmed said: "Whilst we were helping our local residents it became clear that Rachel and her team had a huge geographical reach, and had quite advanced systems and processes for dealing with the volume of High Wycombe residents they were helping, and had over 70 volunteers at that time.

"Bucks Angels kindly offered to field calls from Disraeli residents who needed help and then pass them back to us to arrange the 'physical' help they might need, or provide other signposting as appropriate.

"However, I realised that Bucks Angels needed help with food supply, and we thought we could help."

With the help of Trevor Snaith, the group approached many local supermarkets to ask if they could obtain their residual food.

This was mainly passed on to Bucks Angels to distribute to their residents.

Cllr Ahmed added: "As I realised that Bucks Angels had received no financial support from the council despite their reliance on her, I applied for a grant of £2,000 for her, and additionally one for the food bank to help with everyone's running costs.

"Our aim is to reenergise community spirit by bringing together a group of like-minded individuals to provide support and care to those with the greatest need.

"As our supply network grew, we began also to provide fresh and ambient residual foods to other local organisations such as YMCA, Once Can Trust and Chesham Foodbanks, subsequently we have now begun an initiative with Khepera CIC who brilliantly turn the ingredients we provide into free cooked meals which Bucks Angels and other volunteers deliver to Wycombe residents in need.

"This is a truly joined up approach using the best of everyone's abilities to provide a fully harmonised service across Wycombe.

"I am proud to be part of a unified Wycombe at such a critical time, and the establishment of such amazing community efforts I hope will continue to blossom even after this virus has passed."