Published on

30 October 2023

Mayor teams up with Woodley Foodbank for advent appeal

The foodbank is Cllr Beth Rowland's chosen charity of the year and you can donate items to Shute End in Wokingham


Wokingham Borough Mayor Cllr Beth Rowland is showing her support for the Woodley Foodbank, her chosen charity of the year, by teaming up for another edition of the reverse advent calendar appeal.

The scheme asks for different products each day during November, giving residents the chance to donate helpful items to those who may be struggling with the cost of living.

Much like a traditional advent calendar, the appeal will run for 24 days, starting on Wednesday 1 November. Items include tinned goods, toilet roll, long-life items and festive treats, such as Christmas pudding on the final day.

The reverse advent calendar appeal is open to all, including residents, people who work, study or provide services in Wokingham Borough and local councillors. At the full council meeting on Thursday 19 October, Cllr Rowland asked councillors to get behind the appeal.

Donations can be dropped off directly to Woodley Foodbank at Emmanuel Church in Woodley and the Marc Antoni salon in Woodley. Wokingham Borough Council’s offices at Shute End in Wokingham (RG40 1BN) will also act as a donation point. The charity is happy to collect donations at the end of the appeal at the above locations.

Wokingham Borough Mayor Cllr Beth Rowland


Cllr Rowland said: “It is an absolute pleasure to be able to champion my chosen charity of the year for this very worthwhile cause. The appeal will make a huge difference to those who are unable to afford essential items due to the cost of living crisis.

“The unfortunate reality is that more and more people are turning to foodbanks for support and that is why the work done in Woodley is so important and why I wanted to support them during my time as Mayor of Wokingham Borough.

“If you are able to contribute to the reverse advent calendar appeal, please donate and help to brighten up people’s lives this Christmas. No matter how big your donation, your generosity will be appreciated.”

Last year’s appeal supported the Wokingham Foodbank when Cllr Caroline Smith was Borough Mayor. Donations received at the council offices in Wokingham weighed more than 657kg – the equivalent weight of four adult reindeer.

Established in 1997, Woodley Foodbank serves the people of Woodley and the surrounding area. It helps fight food poverty and ensures that nobody goes hungry. It is part of the Pilot Light Trust, a registered charity set up by the churches of Woodley.

The charity supports people who have been referred to them through official channels, but also accepts referrals from family and concerned friends, as well as self-referral.

Woodley Foodbank Reverse Advent Calendar


Richard Davies, the co-ordinator of Woodley Foodbank, said: “We know times are hard for lots of people right now and as a result we have high levels of demand for our services. We assist people in Woodley and the neighbouring areas of Earley, Lower Earley, Twyford and surrounding villages.

“We have been fortunate that the kind generosity of those who are able to make donations has enabled us to help everyone who has come to us and needed assistance. It would be fantastic for those who can help at this time of year to support us by donating to us over the festive period.

“We always like to make any parcels at Christmas a little more luxurious – while still meeting basic needs – and this is the basis of the items on our reverse advent calendar appeal. Every bit of help we get is truly appreciated.”

Donate at the council offices

A collection box for the appeal will be located at the council’s office reception area at Shute End in Wokingham (RG40 1BN). Donations will be accepted from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm and collected on a weekly basis.

The full list of items on the reverse advent calendar is as follows:

  1. Tinned soup
  2. Breakfast cereal
  3. Festive biscuits
  4. Long-life milk
  5. Tinned fish
  6. Mince pies
  7. Easy-cook rice
  8. Dried pasta
  9. Tinned meat
  10. Baked beans
  11. Tinned fruit
  12. Jam
  13. Pasta/curry sauce
  14. Tinned custard
  15. Crisps
  16. Noodles
  17. Savoury biscuits
  18. Pickle/chutney
  19. Chocolate coins
  20. Long-life fruit juice
  21. Toilet roll
  22. Tinned rice pudding
  23. Tea or coffee
  24. Christmas pudding

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