The Founder of Coventry Foodbank is taking literal steps to raise awareness and funds as demand on the facility continues to grow.
Canon Gavin Kibble MBE is inviting members of the public to join him as he walks the 32km, stopping at all of the city’s 14 foodbank centres on May 29th.
It is expected the route, starting from the most westerly foodbank centre in Canley and ending at The Halo Centre headquarters in Binley, will take around five to six hours to complete.
It will also be a poignant chapter and part of an ongoing fitness regime for Gavin who has worked hard to return to rude health since suffering a heart attack a year ago.
He said: “I’d just come home from shopping at ASDA which had not been a particularly pleasant experience because I found myself stopping at the end of each aisle trying to catch my breath. I got home and my wife said are you OK? I said I probably just need to go to bed because I’m exhausted and she wanted to call 111. When they heard the symptoms they said I needed to get straight to the hospital. Within an hour I was on an ECG and it transpired I was having a heart attack which took me by surprise.
“I’d had angina for a couple of years before that so knew a heart attack was a possibility but didn’t know what it would feel like. Heart attacks aren’t necessarily what you expect with sudden pains in the chest. It can be progressive build-up of pain across the chest, down the arms and a difficulty in breathing that takes you to that point.
“I had an operation to fit two stents in my heart because two of the three main arteries were blocked. They told my wife afterwards that she made exactly the right call because there was every chance I wouldn’t have been around the following day!”
Gavin, who has since been following a new diet and fitness regime as part of a Coventry University Research Study Group, added: “I haven’t touched alcohol for a year and changed my diet and do loads of walking and attend gym. I feel about ten years younger since the heart attack.”
Over 250k people have received food from the Foodbank in the 12 years since Gavin founded it. The cost of living squeeze is meaning that foodbank use across Coventry is facing its highest ever demand.
Currently, it is feeding 800 people each week which represents an increase from 700 people in January 2023 and 500 people in January 2022.
Gavin says the walk will also support his training towards a planned trans-Pennine charity trek for his 60th birthday next year.
He added: “Since I founded Coventry Foodbank I thought it would be a nice idea to walk the length and breadth of the network.
“I’d love it if as many people as possible could join me on this pilgrimage from West to East of Coventry to celebrate 12 years of the life of Coventry Foodbank. Please come and join me for one or two segments of the route or, if you’re feeling really up for it, the full 32 kilometres! Or just join us en route and take some photos to help raise awareness.
You can find out more about the route and taking part here
The route will take in the 14 Coventry Foodbanks as follows:
- Canley, St Stephen’s Church
- St Oswald’s Church, Tile Hill
- Allesley Park Evangelical Church
- Queens Road Baptist Church Centre
- Christian Life Ministries
- Mosaic Hope Centre
- RCCG Holy Ghost Zone
- Foleshill Baptist Church
- St Francis of Assisi Church
- St Laurences Church
- Coventry City Mission
- Walsgrave Baptist Church
- St Catherine’s Church, Stoke Aldermoor
- Willenhall Foodbank (Haggard Centre)
- The Halo Centre, Binley
Please be aware that the suggested route for the Foodbankathon uses public roads. It is the participants’ responsibilty for their own safety when taking part in the event. Coventry Foodbank cannot bear any responsibility for the safety of participants taking part.