Mark Gibson: Volunteer, Thurrock


Hi, I’m Mark,

I worked for the Ford Motor Company for 35 years before changing my career in 2019 to become the Purfleet Hub Coordinator. When Coronavirus hit, I supported the Thurrock Coronavirus Community Action Team with local requests for help with assistance from volunteers.

In 2020, I heard that there was a possibility that the Purfleet Foodbank would have to close due to the pandemic and a lack of volunteers. I knew how important this resource was to those who relied on it, so I volunteered to help and rallied others to join me in keeping the Foodbank running. I help to manage the turnover of stock and ensure we have items such as pet food, nappies, toiletries, and items to support specific dietary requirements available.

Watching so many people face hardship during the pandemic was a low point; it can take desperation for some to bring themselves to use a foodbank. It is this that keeps me going, especially hearing that some have played important roles including firefighters or nurses who are suddenly facing financial difficulties resulting in seeking help from our foodbank.  However, there were certainly times of highs too. For me personally, the biggest gift I can take away is the amazing friendships I have made with the other volunteers.

The Queen herself has also had to face difficult times, but she never falters and always holds herself gracefully. Many years ago, I was in the Territorial Army, and I was very fortunate to be invited to attend the Queen’s Garden party, which was such an honour and a memory that I will always cherish. I am looking forward to celebrating the Queen’s life in such a vibrant and joyful way.

“Mark cares for people and is selfless in what he does, he always feels that others are more deserving or should receive recognition but Mark is someone you can depend on to help and deserves to be recognised for his work supporting the community. ” – extract from the key worker nomination for Mark

Mark at the foodbank organising supplies

We're all connected; to Her Majesty the Queen; to each other; to the past, present and future

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