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Keighley father repays help tackling poverty as volunteer helper
A Keighley dad is being given life-changing support by a charity set up to tackle poverty in the town.
And the kindness is being repaid by unemployed Alan Thompson, who is a volunteer helper with the organisation.
Mr Thompson, 55, began receiving desperately-needed bags of food from Living Lights Christian Outreach last year.
And in October, he offered his services to the charity, now assisting fortnightly with sorting and bagging items for distribution to others in the area.
“Rather than just taking I wanted to give something back so asked if I could help,” said Mr Thompson, of Delph House in Parkwood Rise.
“They are a great set of people and everyone gets on so well. I was keen to assist in some way and they really appreciate it.
“I still receive food bags myself, and they are a massive help to me.”
The divorced father of five grown-up children has not had any paid employment for several years, but does help voluntarily with caretaking duties at KIVCA in Central Hall, Keighley.
“I receive job seekers’ allowance, but it is difficult for me and others in a similar situation to get by,” he said. “Bills are sky high and the cost of everything continues to rise. It’s not unusual to have just a tenner left in a week to survive on and you have to cut out any luxuries. Clothes are also expensive – I buy mine from second-hand shops.
“A lot of people are very proud and won’t ask for help, but assistance is available and the charity is keen to support more people who need it.”
He added the organisation is looking to expand, but required funds.
Last week, Patrick and Liz McDonnell – who set up Living Lights Christian Outreach – revealed the charity was distributing up to 50 emergency food bags and bedding in the town every week, claiming Keighley is one of the most deprived towns in the region.
The venture, based at the Nazarene Church in Oakworth Road, Keighley, runs a mobile food bank and outreach service on Tuesday evenings. Referrals are taken from agencies and they visit families in their homes.
The group will soon launch a new website and is also starting a campaign to encourage churches, community groups and businesses to support its work.
The charity is backed by the town’s Asda store and holds food collection days. The next is on September 11. Contact Patrick on 07401 999399 or Liz on 07830 855544 to help.
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