Empowering Communities: The Impact of Woodford Halse Community Larder and Glencar’s Ongoing Support

December 22nd, 2023

In July 2022, the village of Woodford Halse in Northamptonshire saw the opening of the community larder, marking the beginning of an initiative aimed at addressing food insecurity that had been discovered due to the pandemic and the emergence of the cost of living crisis that followed.

The larder provides subsidised, high-quality food to members of the local community and is entirely run by a group of committed volunteers from the local area. A team of over 50 people comes together each week to help their neighbours, and volunteers regularly express how assisting at the larder has become the highlight of their week.

“ I don’t know what I did before the larder” one volunteer said “it is now the highlight of my week where I have made so many friends while helping others; every week we hear so many stories of how our larder makes a difference.”

Volunteers help to collect and unload over 3 tonnes of food every week to ensure that the larder has a plentiful supply of fresh and store cupboard items for selection at the larder sessions each Tuesday.

The growth and success of the larder underscore its vital role in meeting the community’s needs and the importance of collaborative efforts to improve food poverty for good. All the money that members pay remains within Woodford Halse Community Larder and goes towards the costly purchasing of the range of different food items to help people in the villages maintain a good supply of nutritious items for their families.

In March 2023, Glencar stepped forward as a supporter, contributing £500 each month to bolster the larder’s food supplies. In just this brief span, the impact has been significant, witnessing a remarkable surge in visitors from an initial 40 during the first session to nearly 200 at its peak, now boasting a membership of 500 individuals from 26 surrounding villages.

It soon became apparent that due to the influx of visitors to the larder, the existing car park space was insufficient, creating a burden on vehicle and pedestrian movement in the village on larder opening days. The need for on-site parking was essential to the continued success of the larder, so in November 2023, we worked together with our groundworks supply chain partner, McDermotts, to extend the car park to the rear of the facility, creating an additional 36 spaces, taking the total to 44. This proved to be an invaluable contribution, allowing more visitors to park close-by and reduce traffic on the surrounding village roads.

Karen Pollard, the coordinator at Woodford Halse Larder has said “we are so grateful to Glencar in recognising our struggles to meet the needs of our community.  The new car park is a wonderful community asset that will provide safe access to the larder and the other community activities that are run from the school here in Woodford Halse.  But Glencar is much more than a partner in funding food and solving challenges they also have offered volunteering support too.  The larder at Woodford Halse can offer so much more to the people within West Northants knowing that we have Glencar working alongside all our volunteers in reaching out to those who need support this year.  Together we can do so much more.”

At Glencar, we are known for ‘Doing it Differently’, and believe we have a responsibility to contribute to the well-being of communities throughout the entire year, rather than limiting our charitable efforts to the Christmas season.

Our sustained community engagement fosters a sense of social responsibility that goes beyond seasonal generosity. Our commitment to year-round community support not only aligns with our business practices but also contributes to the creation of resilient, thriving communities in which we live and work, that benefit everyone involved.