Reader’s generous £5k donation to Wigan organisation

Fur Clemt's Brendon Boby, Katy Brittain and Andy Court with the walk-in chiller when it was broken
Fur Clemt's Brendon Boby, Katy Brittain and Andy Court with the walk-in chiller when it was broken

A Wigan organisation working to reduce food waste has received a £5,000 windfall from an anonymous Observer reader.

Last week it was reported that Fur Clemt would have to shell out thousands of pounds to repair its walk-in chiller, which is vital for keeping food fresh, especially during the current hot weather.

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Members said it would cost a massive £20,000 to replace or £3,000 to £4,000 to repair the chiller.

They appealed for help to cover the bill but it was not forthcoming, so they had to dig into the community interest company’s funds to find the cash for repairs.

However, on Monday they were contacted by a woman who had read about the huge bill in the Observer.

Ann Fairhurst, who is involved with running Fur Clemt, said: “She read the article and got in touch and said she wanted to come down. She brought a cheque for £5,000.”

The benefactor was keen to help Fur Clemt but has asked that her identity is not revealed.

Mrs Fairhurst said: “It was fantastic. We are amazed by the support of the people of Wigan.

“To read something in the newspaper and be moved to do something like this says a lot about the person. We are so grateful that she wanted to do something.”

The money will cover the cost of the repairs, which have now been carried out.

The huge chiller is now full of food ready to be sold on a “pay as you feel” basis.

Fur Clemt - a phrase used in local dialect to mean “very hungry” - launched in 2015.

The team gathers food which is edible but would otherwise go to landfill in a bid to “feed bellies not bins” and cut down on food waste.

There are many reasons why it could be deemed to be waste, including fruit or vegetables being the wrong shape or an error with the packaging.

The food is given to the project by farm shops, distributors and other suppliers so it does not go to waste.

From their base at Wigan Warriors’ Central Park, on Montrose Avenue, the food is turned into meals and served in a cafe.

It is also available to buy, both at Central Park and various pop-up boutiques around the borough.