21 June 2024

‘I like to give something back to people who really need it’

By Rebecca Hannant

A kind-hearted student has been praised for giving up his spare time to help prepare parcels for a food bank.

Alfie Jewitt, a year eight pupil at Holderness Academy, has since July dedicated his Monday evenings to helping out at Hedon Food Bank.

As well as preparing food parcels, Alfie has also assisted in a range of duties including advising customers and cleaning. Volunteering at the food bank is just one of the many activities Alfie participates in outside school.

He also trains with Thorngumbald Barons Football Club and Holderness Vikings Rugby Club. His dedication to school has also seen him earn more than 1,000 stamps.

Alfie said: “I have been helping at the local food bank helping people who really need things. I have been packing things into boxes to deliver to people, and putting things out that people need. I do a lot of restocking. I like to give something back to the people who really need it.”

Alfie’s mother, Georgina Jewitt-Cross, said: “I am proud of him. He heard about his grandma going every couple of weeks to help with the deliveries. “Previously he didn’t understand what a food bank was. When I explained it to him, he thought it was sad. His other response was, ‘Can I help, or am I too young?’ We got in touch with Jason at the food bank, who said that any help was welcome.

“He really enjoys it, and it gives him a sense of purpose. His confidence has also increased a lot more.”

She added: “We’re so proud of him, He is getting no personal reward for this. To come home and play with his brother, sit and do homework, or to read his book, he is always going and isn’t giving up.”

Alfie’s work at the food bank has also inspired his friends. He said: “My friends didn’t get why I helped at first, but after I told them they realised that it is a good thing to do. They are happy that I am doing something to help people. I encouraged some of my friends who were doing Lifestyle to help.”

Alfie’s achievements have also been recognised by staff and teachers at the school. Head teacher Neal Holder said: “There are not many children his age who volunteer, especially in an adult environment. Alfie has a lot of resilience and confidence to deal with people and direct them. To do that off his own back and for free is great.

“For students of Alfie’s age, it is very rare they think of anything outside of their own interests. So, for someone to think outside that box, and think about supporting the community in their own time after a long day at school is admirable. Students like Alfie are what we want to see more of – students who help their community, especially after what has happened the last couple of years such as the cost-of-living crisis.

“You hear about the food banks supporting people across the board now with people in all sorts of professions.

“People like Alfie who support the community should be highly commended for it. I think if people like Alfie put themselves up to doing more it might help inspire more people. It is an inspirational story. Well done, Alfie, the academy is proud of you.”

Sarah Rommell of Hedon Food Bank said: “We are very grateful to have Alfie as a volunteer. He has been working with us a few months now and is a reliable and conscientious worker.

“Alfie assists in putting together food parcel deliveries for vulnerable people and will carry out any task given to him, from stock control, cleaning, packing food parcels and recycling of the cardboard for the PATT foundation in Preston. Alfie is always polite and pleasant to work with and is a valuable part of the team.”

Hedon Community Food Bank is based in the Amy Black Community Centre in Sheriff Highway, Hedon. It covers the HU12 postcode area and is open on Mondays from 5pm to 7pm; on Wednesdays from 1pm to 2.30pm; and on Fridays from 4pm to 6pm. Deliveries for vulnerable people are available.

For more information call Sarah on 07808 131606, or Jason on 07808 360804.