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Pat Fitzsimons joins Hackney Foodbank to lead the organisation’s continued transformation

14th March 2022

Hackney Foodbank is delighted to announce the appointment of Pat Fitzsimons as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

A highly skilled leader, Pat, with over 25 years’ experience in the charity, housing association and local government sectors, has joined Hackney Foodbank. Pat succeeds former Interim CEO, Kye Lockwood to assume responsibilities at the charity. As a previous resident of Hackney, Pat brings with her strong connections across the borough and its diverse communities, with experience working on Hackney housing estates and in London Borough of Hackney. Through her work, Pat has gained a great deal of knowledge about the population and the issues facing those who are unemployed.

Hackney Foodbank’s demand for its services has grown exponentially over the past two years and is expected to increase imminently with the cost-of-living crisis. With Pat’s proficiency, she will lead the organisation in initiating new projects, all of which seek to support communities in Hackney better.

Commenting on the appointment, Sue Bell, Chair of Trustees, said:

“We are absolutely delighted that Pat has accepted our invitation to take over the helm as CEO at HFB and navigate us through the next chapter of our organisational restructure. Over 2021, we worked very hard to formulate our mission, vision and objectives, so we feel very fortunate indeed to have found a candidate of Pat’s calibre to implement our Theory of Change and exciting program of projects over the next few years.

Pat, a very experienced charity CEO, knows Hackney well, having previously lived here for over 20 years and has a deep understanding of food poverty from first-hand work experience with disadvantaged (multi-ethnic) communities on housing estates in neighbouring borough, Tower Hamlets. Pat shares our firm commitment to achieving our vision of a hunger-free Hackney where everyone can afford to eat. A natural networker, Pat brings a wonderful, warm-hearted energy to our dedicated and passionate team of staff and volunteers. I’ve no doubt at all that, under her stewardship, 2022 and beyond will be very productive at Hackney Foodbank.”

In her first month, Pat has been interviewed by the BBC to talk on the impact the rising cost of living will have on those accessing Hackney Foodbank’s services, and how the organisation will support people in crisis or trapped in poverty, with the changes anticipated in April. The timing of Pat’s appointment has come at a pivotal time for Hackney Foodbank, entering its 10th year of supporting local communities through challenging times, where Pat will oversee the launch of new projects to improve the provision of services and help the team to develop.

When asked what attracted her to the role, Pat responded:

“I’m honoured to be leading the Hackney Foodbank at this crucial time. Unfortunately, the situation of people in food insecurity will only get worse over the coming months and possibly years. Food banks are not the answer, but the food bank movement is working hard to find lasting solutions to this national shame. I hope to ensure that Hackney Foodbank can continue to work with the diverse communities of Hackney to better support and deliver a culturally appropriate service to those in crisis.”

 

About Hackney Foodbank:

  • Hackney Foodbank (established in 2012) supports people who are in crisis or trapped in poverty by providing three-day emergency food parcels and connecting people to local organisations to address the root causes and wider effects of poverty in their lives.
  • Over 6,900 beneficiaries were supported by Hackney Foodbank in 2021 who each visited an average of 2.8 times during the year.
  • Hackney Foodbank is part of The Trussell Trust network. For UK-wide Trussell Trust food bank statistics visit: https://www.trusselltrust.org/news-and-blog/latest-stats/

About the Trussell Trust:

  • Trussell Trust aims to end the need for food banks in UK.
  • They support a UK-wide network of more than 1,300 food bank centres and together to provide emergency food and support to people locked in poverty, and campaign for change to end the need for food banks in the UK.
  • Their most recent figures for the number of emergency food supplies provided by their network: https://www.trusselltrust.org/news-and-blog/latest-stats/
  • The Trussell Trust’s food bank network brings together volunteers, staff and supporters of all faiths and none to make a difference. Local churches play a vital part in this work, with around 12,000 churches actively involved in donating food, and providing venues, volunteers and financial support for food banks.
  • You can read more about their work at trusselltrust.org

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