With the cost of living on the up, it’s a difficult
time for people on low wages, no income and even people working. With mouths to feed, sometimes people may wonder how they’re going to be able to get their weekly food in, on top of additional bills.
Revd Elaine Munday and a team of people from the community have come together to address this. ‘Ourgate’ was set up at the wake of the March 2020 lockdown by Revd Elaine and her husband Joseph. Revd Elaine is Pioneer Minister of St Petroc’s Church in Bodmin and understands first-hand the effects the pandemic, lack of jobs and low wages has had on local families in the last two years.
“There are a variety of needs,” Revd Elaine told Bodmin Life. “Because we weren’t able to go anywhere (during the lockdown), we knew it was going to be a challenging time and there would be difficulties in getting what was needed.
“My husband and I started something known as Ourgate and started putting some items out at the front of our house, so people could pick up anything they needed if they were passing by during their daily exercise.”
Ourgate soon became well-known amongst the community, with local businesses and organisations such as the Factory Shop, Asda, Morrisons, Cardinham Woods Café and Lanivet School donating all sorts of produce. With these amazing donations, Revd Elaine, Abigail Cavalera, who is the church community project worker and their band of volunteers have been able to achieve so many creative projects to support and encourage the community. Alongside the food needed, snacks and activity bags, essential baby bundles, health and wellbeing bags and care bags with toiletries and household items have been put together for those in need or at crisis point.
“There’s other people out there equally in need that are not recognised,” Revd Elaine said. “They’ve perhaps got families, jobs, mortgages, but they can’t make ends meet. They can walk past here and collect what they need, so there’s no judgement. It’s just being out there and being available and it shows people that someone cares.”
During the 2020 lockdowns, Ourgate received wonderful donations of organic plants and vegetables, as well as freshly baked goods to lift people’s spirits. Pet food and bird seed was also put out, encouraging local children to occupy themselves in the garden while being at home.
Revd Elaine added: “There has been such a variety of people from the community coming together at Ourgate. It really is a wonderful team effort.”
Ourgate is based in the St Mary’s Crescent area and, as long as the weather is dry, items will always be available for people to take what they need. Revd Elaine has a Facebook page where she shares updates.