A GROUP of North Wales truckers donated hundreds of pounds’ worth of food and essential items to a Llandudno food bank to support those in need this Christmas.
Truck drivers based in Rhyl and Bangor were some of those making up the North Wales branch of ‘Operation Xmas 21’, which distributed gifts, food parcels and more to the Llandudno Christmas Foodbank, which itself supports the ‘Hope Restored’ charity.
The wider community, known as ‘CB Truckers UK’ after meeting on the CB Talk mobile phone application, shared the same aim across various parts of Britain.
Ben Furnival is the North Wales ambassador for the operation, and said: “We went on Saturday (December 18) morning, and to be fair, I don’t think they were expecting what we delivered.
“I’m really chuffed with it; it’s going to carry on year on year now. We’re in the process of delivering the paperwork for the foundation now, so it’s a charity that’s going keep on going, hopefully.
“UK-wide, there was about £4,600 (in cash donations to the campaign via Paypal). We split it down and got £700 to go and spend on food.
“We’ve estimated that there was in excess of about £10,000 altogether, between the money and the value of all the gifts donated throughout the UK.
“Through the Amazon Wishlist that we’d put up, we had in excess of about 400 gifts, as in toys for kids, as well as the food. We filled the truck!
“They were fighting tears back; it was really something to see, it made it worthwhile. What they said to us is that, with the stuff that they’ve got, they reckon they can continue right into January with it, so that’s good news. It’s going to change lives.”
This is not the first example of charity work Ben has involved himself in, having previously played a part in the North Wales Truck Gathering charity show, and he not only oversaw the North Wales sector, but the entire Welsh branch, which comprised roughly 40 drivers.
Mark Sides created the Llandudno Christmas Foodbank eight years ago, and wrote in a Facebook post just how grateful he was for the efforts of Ben and his fellow North Wales truck drivers.
Mark wrote: “Ben opened the doors to reveal the biggest, most wonderful donation I have ever had the privilege to see. The van was full from top to bottom and back to front.
“It’s impossible to put into words the sheer volume of items that were donated; it’s simply breathtaking.
“You have provided donations which will serve so many, not only for the festive season, but way into 2022. You have literally spread Christmas magic and turned darkness into light for so many.
“Where there are tears, you have created smiles; you have eased the worry for so many. You are heroes; each and every one of you.”