20 years 20 stories

As we mark 20 years of The Trussell Trust read some of the amazing stories of our clients, supporters and volunteers.

Phil's story

“When the food was brought to my home I was in tears, because I didn’t realise that kind of help was for everyday people like me who have a roof over their head.”

When Phil from Northern Ireland, was diagnosed with work related stress, it was the start of a very difficult period in his life. “I was told the solution was time off work and I did cognitive behaviour therapy courses,” he explains. “But after a period of time they decided it wouldn’t be viable for me to return to work, as I couldn’t handle the pressure of it.”

Louai's story

Syrian Louai Abbara, his wife and son were brought to Salisbury in June 2016. Fourteen-year-old Abdul had been receiving chemotherapy in a hospital in Jordan and UNICEF stepped in and transferred the family to Wiltshire so Abdul could receive further treatment.

Louai, a maths teacher, has always worked and been active, so sitting at home was never going to be an option for him. He enrolled in college with his wife to learn English and adapt to their new lives in a country that was different in so many ways to where he had come from.

Donna's story

Coming to the foodbank was just a great relief and nobody judges anybody.”

Care support worker, Donna, saw her life turned upside down when she was hospitalised after suffering from two mini-strokes. Forced to stop working and not being eligible for sick pay, the 44-year-old, mother-of-three from Northern Ireland soon began to struggle.

“I find it rewarding in many ways; good company, plenty of laughs, and the chance to help those in society who are in genuine and desperate need.”

Peter originally trained in stage management at RADA.  A colourful career followed, brushing shoulders with Ingrid Bergman whilst working in theatre and then on to the BBC in Studio Management working on shows such as the news.

A lifestyle change led him to run a market garden and from there he went on to train in furniture restoration, a highly skilled profession.

Alwyn's story

“I cannot say thank you enough to the people at the foodbank.”

The foodbank was a lifesaver for Alywn from Northern Ireland, when he and his wife struggled to secure the work that they desperately needed.

The father-of-two explains: “It was very tough. The longest period where we had nothing was a week and a half. I was giving kids sugar to keep their stamina up and hydrating them with lots of water.”

Gill's story

“I like doing it for my family and knowing I’m not powerless, but I’m making a difference.”

Just six-weeks after giving birth to her daughter, Gill’s first husband passed away.

She began to struggle financially, admitting that there were times when she ate only cereal, in order to make sure that her children were always fed and the bills were paid on time.

Judith's story

“The Eat Well Spend Less course has been a life saver.”

Struggling to make ends meet, single mother of two, Judith, signed up to our Eat Well Spend Less course at her local foodbank. The course takes place over six sessions and is designed to enable healthy cooking on a budget. It helps builds confidence in the kitchen and shares financial management techniques through a range of practical activities.