Liverpool-based housing developer, Pathway Homes Group (PHG), has upheld their pledge to provide much-needed refurbishment, reconstruction and renovation work for Morecambe Bay Foodbank as they move into their new premises on Westgate Morecambe. Last week, PHG’s team of specialists began the work for the charity, whose delivery provision has grown massively since Covid-19 first spread throughout the UK.  

Founded in 2012 by local churches, the charity has one unified aim: to abolish hunger in the Morecambe and Lancaster district. With a vision to establish a future without the need for foodbanks, Morecambe Bay Foodbank offers a lifeline to those in need within their local communities.  

Since March 2020, the figures of those relying on the foodbank for essential goods has grown exponentially. The Morecambe Bay Foodbank revealed that the number of individuals requiring emergency food assistance rose as high as eight hundred and fifty referrals in one week during the height of the pandemic. This enormous growth in demand for the charity’s support services gives an insight into how devastating the pandemic has been for families and individuals within their local communities. Thankfully, the demand for this high level of support was short lived, but the charity is still seeing a rise of up to 50% in referrals compared to 2019.  

Due to the positive reputation Morecambe Bay Foodbank has established within Morecambe and the Lancaster district, the local authority formed a working partnership with the charity during the pandemic to ensure nobody went hungry. Together, they were able to assist those who had no access to food due to lockdown and social distancing/shielding. This required the charity to adapt to a delivery model that adhered to government regulations and guidelines regarding Covid-19. Due to social distancing measures, Morecambe Bay Foodbank was unable to arrange their usual face-to-face listening and collection service so had to arrange drop-offs to ensure safety for all. 

The current work being carried out by PHG is a vast project that will ensure the charity’s new premises are suitable for working in and adhere to all the legal requirements. This includes structural work to develop a new disabled bathroom, providing and fitting the brand-new suite and appliances for the bathroom and wall partitioning to facilitate the charity shop, which they aim to open in the future. The foodbank’s new home also had areas that needed to be re-plastered and made safe, alongside other plumbing issues that the developer has committed to rectifying for the charity.  

Josh Davis, PHG’s Project Manager overseeing the development work for Morecambe Bay Foodbank, said: “We are so happy that our development work has started on Morecambe Bay Foodbank’s new premises, a charity that does so much for the local area. It is such a rewarding experience for the entire team as we carry out the renovations required to ensure the charity has a sustainable and high-quality HQ. I am looking forward to the coming weeks and seeing the great advancements of our construction team”.     

David Smith, Operations Manager at Morecambe Bay Foodbank, stated: “At the start of last week, building and development work officially began on Morecambe Bay Foodbank’s new premises; none of which would have been possible without Pathway Homes Group, who are working tirelessly to help make our exciting hopes and plans for our new home a reality.  I cannot put into words just how grateful we are for everything the developer is doing to support our charity and the local community. They have delivered financial support, resources, materials and an entire team of tradesmen to make sure our new home is developed to the highest standard”.  

Smith continued: “The contractors have been very professional and have worked around our daily activities to ensure nobody goes hungry while this work is being undertaken. We did not expect this vast amount of help from so many tradespeople when Pathway Homes offered to support us. On behalf of Morecambe Bay Foodbank, I would like to thank them for everything they have done so far. We are looking forward to seeing the completed project”.  

PHG’s most recent commitment to Morecambe Bay Foodbank’s development project is supplementary to the ongoing relationship the developer has established with the charity, having previously delivered considerable food donations for families facing food insecurity within Morecambe’s local communities. This entire project is fully funded by the developer as part of their bid to support local charities and communities.  

For more information on Morecambe Bay Foodbank, or to provide much-needed support, visit: https://morecambebay.foodbank.org.uk. Alternatively, contact the charity directly on 01524 932 001 or info@morecambebay.foodbank.org.uk.