CARDIGAN Foodbank has issued a big thank you message for all the donations it has received in the run-up to Christmas.

Scores of donations of both food and cash have been received at the centre based at the New Life Christian Centre on Quay Street.

Demand for its services rose in November and it is also feared the introduction of the Universal Tax credit throughout the Tivyside area this month will also have a big impact.

Universal Credit is replacing means-tested social security benefits, including Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, income-based Jobseekers' Allowance, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, and Income Support.

Due to a standard five-week wait for the first payment when people start claiming, those being moved over to Universal Credit at the end of November or midway through December are unlikely to get their first payment until the New Year, leaving many people at risk of a financial gap over Christmas.

“It is very much a question of wait and see at the moment but for many people there is no fallback position over the Christmas period when government agencies close down for the holidays,” said Cardigan Foodbank manager Alan Faunch.

“We know of one mum with a young family who has been told her benefits were being removed and she would have to reapply for Universal Credit but it all takes time.

“However, groups, businesses and individuals in Cardigan have been so generous with their donations and we cannot thank them enough. It really is incredible.”

As if to emphasise the point, a couple appeared at the door and handed over a substantial sum of cash to go towards the foodbank. They asked for no recognition other than they were happy to be in a position to help.

“That is typical of what people do. So many people just turn up on the doorstep with donations and it is truly heart-warming” added Alan.

“One elderly couple don’t have a lot themselves but donate £10 every month.

“The demand never goes away and some of the situations we are seeing are becoming more and more distressing.”