Help at the Octagon in the Coronavirus crisis

A message from Sarah McCarten-Williams and the team at the Octagon.

I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who’s offered help to the Octagon and who’ve given money to us. If you want to find out how you can give via #FEEDMALVERN2020 then click here

We’re really getting established in this new pattern of working and things really do change from day to day. Although we haven’t had many opportunities for volunteers at the moment in the next week or two that will definitely change.

Last week we received two donations of surplus food from Morrison, and we were able to give food to 22 families. I think it really made a difference for two reasons, firstly because they got extra food, but secondly because we were able to call the families of all the young people who come to the youth club, they were so please that we’d remembered them and cared enough to call.

This week we have registered with Fareshare, they help supermarkets distribute surplus food to their communities, usually through charities. For the past two days we have received a huge bag of bread from Tesco. While this is great it’s not really enough for people and so I’ve spent a lot of days driving around supermarkets to see if they have pasta, rice, tinned goods, and other essentials. Which often, is a massive waste of time.

We need food: if anyone has access to supermarket where we could buy in bulk – I’m talking 10 packets of past at a time, not massively in bulk.

Additionally, if anyone feels able to scour the shops for us we would be so grateful.

I’m building a database of volunteers, who are in good health, under 70, and ideally drive. This will be to collect food from supermarkets, mornings and evenings, and to deliver food to families, which will be in the afternoons. If you’re able to help, email

The reality of the situation we face is so stark for some people one mum of 5 said to me; ‘I’m so glad our youngest doesn’t eat food yet, it makes it so much easier.’

Another mum rang me and I’d run out of all but eggs and bread she said; ‘that’s brilliant I can make egg sandwiches for the next few days and that’s better than nothing.’

Please be praying for the Brook Farm Community and the clients we work with, that they will feel a sense of peace and that their needs will be provided for.