VOLUNTEERS have expressed their gratitude as Allerton's Grub In The Hub wins the Shared Values In Action Award, sponsored by Bradford For Everyone.

The Shared Values in Action Award, sponsored by Bradford For Everyone, recognises people who are doing activities which bring people together. And more than 1,000 people felt the team of kind-hearted Bradfordians should be crowned the winner.

Grub In The Hub takes place at Lower Grange Community Centre every Friday from 10am. Bags cost £1-2. The team, who also operate at Allerton Cafe West, delivered 5,000 bags of food in the first four months of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a report by the Trussel Trust, around half of people who used a food bank at the start of the pandemic had never needed one before while families with children have been the hardest hit.

Lily Romani, Girlington Morrison's Community Champion and volunteer at the Grub in the Hub, said: “Our work makes a massive difference to the local community. The Grub in the hub project is a lifeline to many families who have been furloughed or the loss of jobs who are struggling to feed themselves and their families, so its humbling to enable to help those most in need.

"Some of the conversations we have had has left us in tears. I had a lady burst in to tears when I gave her a dozen eggs which she has had for months, as she considered them a luxury item, which she could not afford. Things we used to take for granted, are simply out of peoples reach. This is why I turn up every week, and do what I can help to support those in need."

The scheme is led partly by Cllr Beverley Mullaney (Thornton and Allerton, Labour) and Lower Grange Community Centre's Alex Dilger.

Alex said: “The team have been able to adapt and mobilise quickly to support local individuals and families who are struggling with financial hardship or have the lack of food supplies and basic essentials. We created a ‘Pick and Mix’ system, which provides a choice for them to pick the produce that suits their taste / dietary need.

"They have contributed to an urgent public service, meeting the demand of our community and further afield across the Bradford District, especially when a project like this can sometimes be the only source of nutrition individuals and families receive all week."

Explaining the benefits of the 'Pick and Mix' system, volunteer Margaret Alipoor said: “Because the families are able to chose their own mix, this provides them with the opportunity they require for their families individual needs."

Cllr Mullaney added: "The feedback we have received has been fantastic. We treat everyone with dignity and respect, ensuring no goes hungry."

The team have been described by some as 'angels in a time of crisis' .

One service user said: "This project has taken the stress away from me by supporting my family with food supplies and basic essentials at a time I needed these the most."

Another said it has been a "lifeline" for their family.