We were reminded last week that no matter how many times you check, re check and check again, things can still go with a wobble. It`s how you deal with those wobbles, how you react and how you recover that set you apart and I must say we came out stronger for it.
It started Monday, a quick trip to Bristol for a ton of carrots (literally a ton of carrots) that were offered by FareShare SW and that we could share amongst the community hubs that will be used as part of veg bags we were offering at the time aimed at healthy eating. It was also an extra to the lorry load of 18 pallets (14 tons) of food we were due later in the week, again, donated by FareShare SW and the hard work by Lucy and Shelley who have done nothing but support us during the Covid Pandemic.
It seemed that no soon had I got back to Bodmin and unloaded the carrots, kettle on and the phone rang... Sorry to say John but the forklift and driver can't help this week..... To be honest, it's not quite printable what my first reaction was as I knew we now faced a massive task. See, we had the forklift on offer for the last two weeks and it was a solid and sorted thing. Through no fault of the owner, it got called away for an emergency and wouldn’t be able to assist us in just a couple of days' time. This was our wobble and actually a huge problem. Business had closed for the day, its lockdown in a pandemic and it's not quite an off the shelf item to rent and especially as you need a driver to go with it.
Tuesday morning, I think we all had very little sleep as the reality crept in. £30,000 of food being loaded and soon to be on our doorstep, 14 tons of wonderful but no way of offloading and never achievable by hand. Bugger. We also had to sort this while still doing our normal daily community work, delivering food parcels in the community and delivering a ton of carrots out in bulk to the other hubs we support etc. This really left George and Kat, who had not been with us long but both knew us and the determination we have so we set them free on the task with strict instructions not to come out of the office until its sorted.
Just after 1 pm we had an offer, a driver, the TA and an army reserve came to our rescue and guaranteed us a driver, anytime and anywhere as once they found out what we are doing they simply couldn’t say no. Hats off to them as they really helped pull this off and have offered help again when and if we need it.
Just after 4pm a Forklift, ok it's in Birmingham but it can be with us in Bodmin for Thursday morning, do we want it? Do we what!! It was actually a national company we had approached and they really wanted to help and even though it was in the midlands they would bring it down as it would be used with Christmas lights in other areas over the next few weeks. Needless to say, we confirmed, paid and gave a huge sigh of relief.
Both sorted and before close of day, we could now let both George and Kat out of the office and back into the normal running and daily activities. A great intro to the company, a great bit of team effort and the both turned up the next day again so not put off at all by it I'm glad to say.
So that was the wobble followed by a great recovery but the recovery isn't the huge achievement.
The achievement was hitting 65 tons of surplus food delivered and distributed by us to the community groups we work with supporting Cornish communities facing food poverty. None of this could happen with the support we have been given by FareShare SW and especially Lucy and Shelley Wright who has moved mountains to help make this happen. I'm not quite sure how many meals that would make, I am sure Harry could work it out but I reckon around 180,000 meals and a few cups of tea. And tea is what I need after that week. A week full or real high, a little wobble and a great end result. The food is now here, being distributed and we are now working on the next one. We don’t normally work like this but it was brilliant to see what we could achieve in such a short time, not just with the forklift situation but when you think about it, 65 tons of food in 7 months is a huge amount of food. Pre Covid, this hub that we have created was just a conversation that we had had the previous year with FareShare and yes, in the pipeline but that wasn’t due to happen until next year, Covid changed that and 65 tons later, here we are now. A massive response in answer to community need and made a lot lot easier with the right support and the right team on your side.
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