UK's smallest cathedral launches foodbank on Isle of Cumbrae

The Cathedral.
The Cathedral.
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Britain's smallest cathedral has launched a foodbank to help struggling islanders.

The Cathedral of the Isles in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae, opened the foodbank to help cash-strapped islanders avoid the costs of going to the mainland.

Previously, people needed to travel by ferry to Largs, North Ayrshire, if they wanted to visit a foodbank.

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But volunteers became aware of the additional financial pressure this was adding, and came up with a solution closer to home.

Volunteer Andrew Smiley said: "There was a gradual rise over a period of a few months.

"These people are facing hardship and also the added expense of a ferry to Largs just to get food.

"They if they don't drive then they would also need to pay for a bus to get to and from the ferry.

"These are unwanted costs when people are already cash-strapped.

"Living on the island myself I thought I would arrange this new service to help."

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Along with fellow volunteer Fraser Kelly, Andrew managed to successfully set up a base at the Cathedral of the Isles.

The Scottish Episcopal Church was built in 1851 and can accommodate less than 100 worshippers at a time.

Andrew added: "The cathedral has been great, offering us space for a store room, which has been vital.

"We have a phone number and can deliver straight to people's houses.

"We thought this would be the best way of doing things as the cathedral itself is quite small and privacy is an issue.

"We don't want people to be embarrassed about using the service so now they can phone us whenever.

"Cumbrae Parish Church and the school made massive donations as part of their harvest festivals, which was kind.

"It is great that we can offer people the service on the island now and help where possible."