Blacon Beacon is a food charity which exists entirely for the benefit of Blacon residents. Registered with the Charity Commission as 'Pantry for Blacon' CIO registration number 1183763. We're based at Holy Trinity Church hall and we're delighted to introduce to you our project manager, Kerry. We have fantastic volunteers working for us, who help with stock taking, serving food, and welcoming members to Blacon Beacon, but we're always on the look out for more volunteers, so please get in touch if you can help.
Project Manager - Kerry Cook
Furloughed from my regular job, I started volunteering with the brilliant Blacon Action Team here at Holy Trinity and Western Avenue back in May, packing food parcels as part of the Covid-19 response for Blacon. As we get off the ground, the project has the potential to offer so much more for this community in the future and I can't wait to see where it takes us. Thank you for your support!
Project Manager (part time temp) - Cat Davis
I've been getting to know Blacon over the last 4 years but finally moved here in September 2020 and found myself in another lockdown season! I helped co-organise a local Art Trail in Blacon in the Easter Holidays and through that I got to know Beacon Trustees Tina and Sheila. I was really excited to join the team here part-time alongside Kerry this Summer. So much great stuff is coming out of here and it's really good to be a part of it.
Back in early 2018 discussions began in Blacon about problems with being able to buy good quality fresh food at a reasonable, affordable price, and a community consultation was held in February of that year. We talked firstly about the lack of places to buy cheap fresh food, especially fruit and vegetables, and the cost of transport to supermarkets. But then another issue was also raised, what to do with raw ingredients, and how to make a nutritious meal out of basic ingredients.
In the past there used to be independent stores, where the people working at these stores could show discretion to individuals in the community they knew needed a little help, but unfortunately and sadly that personal local touch has been lost with the bigger supermarkets taking over. This along with the issues raised about food led to a multi-agency discussion about setting up an outlet for affordable fresh food provided by Blacon residents, for Blacon residents. And finally, Blacon Beacon came into being!
Each week members can pick up a bag of cupboard items like pasta, tins and cereal and also a bag of fresh fruit and veg. Some of the food we give out has been donated to us, either from the public or places like Cheshire Food Hub. We also order in food to make sure our members get a fairly consistent amount of food each time. This is funded by various grants and personal financial donations.
To help make sure we provide the right support to members of our community you will need to sign up to be a member to use the services we have available. All you need to do is fill out a simple form, which you can find here [link 1] or you can pop in to see us at Blacon Beacon, check out our opening times here. Once you're signed up your membership will last six months.
We want our services to go to people who will benefit the most, so we do have questions we ask about your circumstances to make sure you are eligible. The answers you give will be treated in strict confidence. Our Manager may talk to you about the form, if there are questions we need to ask.
To become a member you will also need to pay a weekly subscription of either £5 (family package) or £3 (single package) which we will usually ask to be paid by direct debit (there are exceptions to this, so please discuss this with us if it will be difficult).
Unfortunately we're only able to offer membership to a limited number of people at any one time which is why membership is only available for six months. This means we can help as many members of the community as possible, but don't worry if at the end of your six month membership you wish to sign up again, we can discuss this with you towards the end of your membership.
You may have already read that we have an amazing group of volunteers who support and help Blacon Beacon but we're always looking for more people to join us.
To volunteer time, please click this link [link 3]
To help raise money for Blacon Beacon through fundraising please click here...
If you're able to donate money direct to Blacon Beacon as a one off donation or regular payments please click here...
If you have any questions or wish to talk to someone at Blacon Beacon direct, please visit our 'Contact Us page'
Sheila's lived in Blacon for more than 30 years and was elected as a Councillor for the Blacon ward in 2019.
Tina Upton is Chair of Trustees. She has been the Rector of Holy Trinity Church, Blacon since 2012, and she is passionate about supporting the local community and people in need. She is married with three grown up children and two grandchildren.
Jen De Leie
Jen has lived in Blacon for four years and is married with one son. She's come to live in Chester after living on a narrow-boat and also volunteers at The Boat Museum and The Hospice of the good shepherd.
She loves helping the community in and around where she lives.
Originally from London, Ed and his wife have lived and worked in Blacon since 2002 running children’s and youth clubs and he is really passionate about the community. Ed is a Baptist minister with HBC Chester and Blacon Central.