Weekly news 12.12.22

It’s Nearly Christmas!

We can’t quite believe it – we’re almost ready to start packing hampers. This has been months in the planning and has only been possible because of all of the amazing people who have worked so hard to spread the word about our efforts!

We have had so many incredible donations from so many! Whether it is individuals or groups, schools, offices, churches or colleges – you’ve all come together to share with your community!  None of this would be possible without YOU!

We still have items that we need more of to make sure everyone is at least given a token this Christmas

1. Warm clothing such as hats, scarves, socks and gloves

This is the one we really really need lots more of! Many of the families / people we support are struggling to heat their homes or are precariously housed / experiencing homelessness. It is essential they keep warm any way they can so this would be a very welcome gift this Christmas 

2. Large sharing family chocolates

Who doesn’t like a good treat especially at Christmas to share with their friends, families and loved ones. 

And speaking of hampers….

Volunteer December 16th-23rd and 26th-30th to help with Christmas hampers

Could you help with our Christmas hamper deliveries?

Over the last few weeks we have had a challenging time sourcing enough delivery drivers and bikers to deliver our parcels and we need even more over the busy Christmas period.

Not only is demand for emergency support on the rise but we will have other additional festive deliveries to do.

Is this something you think you could help with?

Collection is at the Richard Benson Hall and we can be flexible on timing 

If you’re new to OMA, pease email with the subject line ‘Hamper Deliveries’

If you’re already volunteering with us, please just add yourself to the Rota

We also need hall volunteers

As we will be packing a lot more parcels than usual at the Hall so we need a lot more hands on deck. If you have any time over Christmas to help us out. If you’re new to OMA you can sign up here: 

If you’re already volunteering with us, please just add yourself to the Rota 

We know many of you can’t help out regularly with work and other commitments but we’d love some help over the holidays if you can. Even an hour of your time can make a huge difference to someone else. We will have 60 parcels per day

OMA is only possible because of our wonderful volunteers. We are proudly a volunteer driven organisation based on solidarity and mutual support


Keeping warm at the hall

We hope you’re all wrapping up well and keeping  warm as temperatures plummet. We want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all of our incredible volunteers especially those that spend long hours at the hall packing parcels in absolutely freezing temperatures.

They come week in and week out to ensure that people in crisis are shown solidarity, that they are treated with care and kindness and know that they are not alone.

As our bills are sky high it is difficult for us to heat our hall making conditions quite uncomfortable.

We will need to provide some heat to volunteers as the temperatures drop even further but we are worried about the cost. 

We’ve already had to make significant budget cuts elsewhere to manage our rising bills and we really don’t want to reduce what we are providing even further.

You can help us by donating here: 

Solidarity with striking workers

With the news that food bank use is soaring amongst nurses and other vital yet low paid sectors, we wanted to show our support to those workers who are desperately struggling to make ends meet. 

Many of the people who contact us are working and yet still they can’t put food on the table. This is the devastating reality of more and more people.

At OMA, like many food banks around the country, we are struggling to keep pace with the scale of rising demand and believe that food bank use is not a long term solution to food poverty

Read more here

Major food supply shortages

Sadly, our food supply levels have been at some of the lowest they have been due to the fact that many of our suppliers can supply less and less – there is simply less food in the system.

Coupled with the fact that people are having a harder time that ever, we can not keep pace with demand. This week alone we delivered 94 emergency food parcels to nearly 300 people and regular (weekly) food support to hundreds more.

We simply do not have enough food to provide to everyone who needs it.* If things continue this way, there will be more and more people with shrinking parcels or none at all. 

That is why we are asking you to help us and your community. We really are at critical levels of supply and soon we won’t be able to provide important essentials such as fresh fruit and veg and / or protein. 

We urgently need:

1. Fresh veg and fruit

2. Tinned tomatoes

3. Tinned meat

4.Sanitary pads


I’m very pleased with whatever you send to me, especially grateful for last Sundays parcel, which included a lovely flowering pot plant, and a cake! Sunday was my 90th Birthday!! Thank you so much.

A big thank you so much for the food parcel, cooked the chicken last night with the yams and carrots, it was lovely, again we thank you, all was good as usual.  Bless you and have a good week.