When the pandemic started in 2020, the Pocklington Rugby In The Community (PRITC) charity established partnerships with the People’s Pantry, Pocklington’s Covid Community Support group, the HEY SMILE Foundation and East Riding of Yorkshire Council to take over the rugby clubhouse and turn it into the district’s Covid Community Hub.
This led to the partnership delivering thousands of food parcels and medical prescriptions throughout the summer months.
Throughout lockdown the People’s Pantry operated out of the rugby club, using its bar and changing rooms as its distribution centre.
To provide continuity after lockdown, PRITC worked with the rugby club and other organisations to develop a permanent home from which the People’s Pantry could operate.
This culminated recently when PRITC trustees and People’s Pantry volunteers met up with representatives of the organisations and businesses that made the move a reality and toast the new facility’s opening.
Scott Waters, managing director for Persimmon Homes Yorkshire, said: “When approached by Pocklington Rugby In The Community to help them transform spare space at the rugby club into a new shop and store for the Peoples Pantry, we were very pleased to give our practical and financial support.
“The Persimmon Homes Yorkshire team of joiners, electricians and painters, led by our contract manager, Phil Thompson, has been instrumental in transforming the room into a fit workspace for its growing service. In addition, we have ensured all works complied with necessary building regulations and were successfully signed off.
“We feel it’s important to support our local community, where we can, and People’s Pantry provides such a valuable service for people who are struggling in these difficult times.”
PRITC’s Andy Bowden said: “In addition to Persimmon as the main contractors, we also had great support from a host of local businesses and organisations including Storplan, Filstorage, York Property Solutions, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, HEY Smile Foundation, Mary Foster at NFU Mutual, Help4Health, ARCO, MADL (Brookfield Group), R C Donkin & Partner, Pocklington Town Council and, of course, Pocklington RUFC without whom this would not have been possible.
They were all invited to the opening to see what their contributions had created, with Heather Davidson, of the People’s Pantry, adding: “We were delighted to have the opportunity to thank PRITC and all those businesses and groups who have made it possible to fully reopen the Pantry doors in our new home; and we’ll now be thanking all those who donate us the goods we distribute.
“We look forward to working with PRITC and PRUFC long into the future.”