Wednesday, 13 October 2021

The Pantry at Tiber Square

Each Thursday since 14th May this year Tiber Square have been accommodating a food pantry organised by Fans Supporting Foodbanks – Spirit of Shankley. This event runs each Thursday from 10am-12noon. The event is run entirely by volunteers, two of whom are GTDT’s very own Caroline and Ruth.

Each week the pantry has helped between 80-110 people who turn up, hand in £3.50 and receive meat, fruit & veg and 10 tins all coming up to a minimum of £20. A lot of the time the customers are also given extra as a freebie to ensure everybody has enough to get them through the week. If someone turns up and cannot afford it they are also still given food as it is important that nobody goes without. At this moment in time there are over 250 members on the list who have been to the pantry at one point or another from when it started in May

Of course at the beginning there were a few issues that needed to be worked out such as it was a first come first served basis and people would try and cut the queue, this issue was resolved by bringing in raffle tickets where when people come to queue up they are issued a ticket and therefore if someone is at the front of the queue without a ticket they will be handed one and sent to the back of the line to ensure that it is all fair.

There have been many visitors to the site, such as former Liverpool player Jamie Carragher, one of the main directors who helped set up the initiative in October 2015 and a cycling group called Red Indians who raised money for different charities by cycling from London to Liverpool, and from this fund raiser they gave £500 to the pantry to help with the cost of buying food.

The pantry being on Tiber Square brings so many people together and integrates many different cultures. The pantry is not discriminatory and they don’t put barriers in the way for people when they want to sign up. It is available to anybody who wants to apply no matter their circumstances or background.

Caroline, one of the volunteers at the pantry said, “I decided to volunteer at the pantry because I wanted to give back to the community and help wherever I can. I also thought that it would be a good idea to link my work with GTDT and the skills I have from there to the work I will be doing here. I have made many friends with the other volunteers and with people who come here to receive food, I have also heard some very sad stories from the customers relating to being isolated since the pandemic but knowing that coming to the pantry is an opportunity for them to get out of the house and see friends puts a smile on their faces. I really enjoy volunteering here and I am excited to see where the next few years with this project will take us.”

St Bedes - Food Bank


Friday, 8 October 2021

World Mental Health Day 2021 (Sunday 10 October)

This Sunday is World Mental Health Day and it is a great opportunity to raise awareness of mental health problems and start conversations.

If you need someone to talk to you can visit Talk Liverpool by clicking here.  There are also details of Mersey Care support below.

For mental health support for young people visit Liverpool Camhs.

The NHS Better Health 'Every Mind Matters' website has lots of useful links and information, click here to visit their website

The Mental Health Foundation have a number of 'How to' publications that you can download for FREE, click here for more details.

Thursday, 7 October 2021

A couple of poems for National Poetry Day 2021

To celebrate National Poetry Day we are sharing a couple of poems with you.

The first, 'Tending his memory' is written by our very own Colin Watts.  Colin, was born in Staines to the sound of doodlebugs overshooting London. He trained as a town planner, but turned to community development and training in the early 1970's and adult education thereafter. Since then, he has been stepping from one ladder to the next, in a Liverpool career spanning over thirty years.  To read more of Colin's poetry you can visit his website by clicking here.


He liked a good English apple, did my father.
When he died, we planted James Grieve, Blenheim Orange.
We eat, give to friends, make wine. Some I pick early,
wrap in pages of the Echo, pack in boxes.
In the cellar they will last through winter,
preserved, I am told, by newsprint and the damp.

Until Christmas they remain firm, sharp.
Thereafter, the slightest bruise spreads like bad news.
By July, they’ll be wrinkled as raisins,
spilling bright fungi of startling delicacy,
yellow, pink, green. I commit them to compost,
tend this year’s crop, sample the new wine, miss him.

The second poem we are sharing is by Wendy Cope, one of the most acclaimed living comic poets writing in English. Since her first collection appeared in 1986, she has published a handful of popular volumes of comic verse, though she can also write ‘straight’ poetry very successfully too.

‘Engineers’ Corner’ is inspired by an advertisement that was placed in The Times by the Engineering Council. ‘Engineers’ Corner’ is the first poem in Cope’s first collection of poems, the 1986 volume 'Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis'. The advert snottily asked why Britain has ‘always made more fuss of a ballad than a blueprint’, and sniffily suggested there should be an ‘Engineers’ Corner’ to complement Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey. Cope’s brilliantly witty retort is a tour de force.  To read more of Wendy Cope's poetry, click here to read 10 poems that are suggested as her best.

Engineers' Corner by Wendy Cope
Why isn't there an Engineers' Corner in Westminster Abbey? In Britain we've always made more fuss of a ballad than a blueprint... How many school children dream of becoming great engineers?
-- advertisement placed in The Times by the Engineering Council

We make more fuss of ballads than of blueprints --
That's why so many poets end up rich,
While engineers scrape by in cheerless garrets.
Who needs a bridge or dam? Who needs a ditch?

Whereas the person who can write a sonnet
Has got it made. It's always been the way,
For everybody knows that we need poems
And everybody reads them every day.

Yes, life is hard if you choose engineering --
You're sure to need another job as well;
You'll have to plan your projects in the evenings
Instead of going out. It must be hell.

While well-heeled poets ride around in Daimlers,
You'll burn the midnight oil to earn a crust,
With no hope of a statue in the Abbey,
With no hope, even, of a modest bust.

No wonder small boys dream of writing couplets
And spurn the bike, the lorry and the train.
There's far too much encouragement of poets --
That's why this country's going down the drain.