PATCH’s new Pembroke Dock centre is scheduled to open in a new location on Tueday March 3.
PATCH (Pembrokeshire Action to Combat Hardship) was forced to leave its Monkton base before Christmas following a series of thefts and since then has been operating out of the CAB building in Pembroke Dock.
In an upbeat interview for the Herald, PATCH Coordinator Tracy Olin said: “Sadly we had to leave Monkton because we had a few issues not least because some things went missing. It was disappointing at the time but I feel it was the right time to move anyway, and if we hadn’t moved out we would not have ended up this amazing new place anyway. As from March 3 we will be in our lovely new Tuesday home in The Old Fleet Surgeons House No 1 The Terrace in the Royal Dock Yard ” she explained.
“It is just beautiful. We have the use of two large rooms for food clothing and household items and it is a lot bigger than our former premises. And in addition to this we have the most spectacular walled garden at the back which will allow us to expand our ‘growing patch’ for the foodbank. We already have a patch in Milford which we have had running for about 5 months” she continued.
“The weather has been against us but we have started growing leeks and potatoes and have carrot and beetroot seedlings to be planted and because of this we are looking for gardening volunteers with all levels of ability. It would be fantastic if we could help people develop their gardening skills.”
Expressing her thanks to all who have continued to support PATCH throughout its challenging period Tracy Olin added: “We have had so much encouragement from local businesses and companies. Keep Wales Tidy for example has given us a grant to buy equipment in association with Tesco, and the Marpet Fund has been incredibly supportive too by providing us with gardening equipment. And I have to say a massive thank you to the Port Authority. Quayside Estates have been amazing. They have supported us in so many ways. And I should not forget to say that we are very indebted to the CAB who hosted us for so long though they really didn’t have the space. We have and will continue to work closely with them because they can help people with the causes of their poverty too.”
Tracy Olin has no doubts that PATCH has an essential role to play in the local community. As she explained: “Sadly there is a huge need in the Pembroke and Pembroke Dock area and interestingly here the biggest increase is in the need is for household items. We are helping some 60 people a month with these. People tend to think the greatest need is food. It probably is as an immediate need, but we are always looking for anything practical, even small electrical items.”
Reflecting on the personal challenges that accompany poverty she continued: “One of the biggest problems with being poor is lack of choice and we try to deal with that by giving people as much choice as we can when we help them with clothing or household goods. We do this because we are trying to give people a sense of dignity.”
Anyone wanting more information should contact Tracy Olin on tel:07775 571431 or email tracy@patchcharity. org.uk