Award-winning Kettering Shack Food Project organisers could do more with your help

The Shack Food Project helps with food, clothes and practical help

By Alison Bagley
Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 8:59 am

A volunteer-run food project set up and run by a Geddington mum-of-four has been recognised not once but twice for the work of the multi-generational efforts by her family.

Claire Gurney, founder of The Shack Food Project, runs a food bank and one-stop outlet in Lower Street for people needing clothes, equipment and practical help to families and individuals in the greatest need.

Starting out in Geddington helped by daughter Freya Fadrani and granddaughter Hallie Hills, Claire was recently awarded a Rose of Northamptonshire Award while five-year-old Hallie was named as a 'Little Sunshine' by Kettering Morrisons.

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Hallie, Claire and Freya

The three generations started out at the beginning of the first lockdown last year helping people in the community with food parcels and now run a pop-up shop in Lower Street, Kettering - run as a not-for-profit organisation.

Claire said: "I'm very proud of the girls. I never expected to get an award. I've never won anything like that before, it was amazing.

"In March last year, we started out from our conservatory, then we moved to the Grange Resource Centre, now we have the shop in Lower Street.

"We hand out 40 food parcels each week and we work alongside Morrisons who donate food and we donate Fair Share food through Tesco that would otherwise go to landfill, to Johnny's Happy Place.

Claire and daughter Freya

"Through referrals from Home Start, the Job Centre and social service and recommendations we also hand out baby items like prams and high chairs and other equipment. We also sell prams and toys to fund our work."

The Shack Food Project has been helping homeless people in Kettering and Corby and arranged for one man who had been living in his car find new accommodation.

Claire said: "I couldn't stay in a nine to five job but I wanted to give back something.

"I've been there and done that. I've been a teenage mum. I've been homeless. My house burnt down in 2013 and I had three children. I have struggled."

Hallie with Kettering Morrisons store manager Ben White.

Helping Claire is a team of five volunteers as well as Freya and Hallie. She has now organised a day trip for 280 parents and children to go to the seaside at Skegness this summer.

Meanwhile Hallie received her Little Sunshine award from Kettering store manager Ben White in recognition of her work going 'above and beyond' for their community.

Proud gran Claire said: "Hallie is just like me. She loves helping out. She helped pack and deliver food parcels. I'm so proud she got the award."

As a thank you for their work Geddington villagers clubbed together to present her with a surprise thank you gift.

The Shack Food Project

Gran-of-two Claire added: "Giving back is amazing for my mental health.

"I know how it feels. I have been there. When my kids were little we didn't have a food bank. We will help anyone from any walk of life."

To help The Shack Food Project's work they accept donations at 10, Lower Street, during opening hours, Wednesday to Saturday, 10am to 2pm or go to the website by clicking here.

Or you can donate items at Dunelm Mill, Kettering in their collection trolley.

The Shack Food Project supports familes and individuals in need
Food hero Hallie, 5.