Ellon Foodbank Centre marks opening of new town premises

Gillian Morton, Ann Marie Taylor and Beverley Simpson at the launch at Ellon Foodbank Centre
Gillian Morton, Ann Marie Taylor and Beverley Simpson at the launch at Ellon Foodbank Centre

Ellon Foodbank Centre marked the launch of its new premises on Tuesday, February 26.

The foodbank is now located at Ellon Baptist Church on Station Road in the Ythan Centre building.

Foodbank Centre coordinator Karen Butchart cuts the ribbon to mark the centre officially open

Foodbank Centre coordinator Karen Butchart cuts the ribbon to mark the centre officially open

Ellon Foodbank Centre marked the opening with a special launch and open day, giving residents and invited guests the chance to pop in, meet the team and find out more about the work that the foodbank does in the community.

Ellon Foodbank Centre is run by a team of volunteers, headed up by coordinator Karen Butchart.

It is part of Aberdeenshire North Foodbank, which has other food distribution centres in Peterhead, Inverurie and Huntly as well as a central warehouse just outside Inverurie.

Plans for the Ellon Foodbank first started with a meeting in Ellon Academy in March 2014.

Those present included local churches, trustees from the Aberdeenshire North Foodbank, local councillors, and chaired by Sandra Coutie of Ellon Baptist Church, who shared how contact with Aberdeenshire North Foodbank, at that time in Inverurie, had been met with great enthusiasm as they had been receiving an increasing number of referrals from the Ellon area.

This led to a search for suitable premises and the foodbank found its first home in Auchterellon Pavillion.

The Ellon Foodbank, which is partnered with Ellon Baptist Church, opened its doors in June 2014.

However due to the remote location of Auchterellon Pavillion it was decided to relocate and a more central premises was found in the council-owned Ythan Centre.Unfortunately when the centre closed the foodbank found itself to be homeless.

New temporary premises were found in the Kirk Centre although this was later found to be unsuitable and not sustainable in the longrun.

Voluntary Services Aberdeen then offered two rooms and all was well until they had to relocate.

Once new tenants were found for the building the foodbank moved again to the Kirk Centre, although this time permanent cupboards were available and a partnership and stability was found.

In December 2018 Ellon Baptist Church took over the Ythan Centre.

As part of a CAT application, Ellon Baptist Church has the building for five years and Ellon Foodbank Centre moved with them.

Tinned and packet food items can be donated to the foodbank centre when it is open, or at Tesco in the Permanent Collection Point, Costcutters and during Ellon Baptist Church’s Toddler Group.

The foodbank centre also accepts donations of items such as shampoo, shower gel, deodorant, toilet roll and pet food.

Karen said: “As much as we are worried about growing numbers of people needing emergency food parcels, what is positive about our foodbank centres is that local communities are coming together to meet local need through donating food, donating services, and the work of the foodbanks are predominantly done by local volunteers, which is so valuable.”