We provide food, clothing, household items, financial relief in the form of goods needed or paying for basic services such as heating. We provide advocacy, advice, information and signposting. We provide discreet support as an approachable go to organisation.
Exmouth Friends in Need bridges the gap that often occurs with Universal Credit payments, pay cheques and one off unexpected bills to those on low income.
Who the voluntary group helps
Families, individuals, children/young people, elderly/older people, people with disabilities, other charities or voluntary bodies, other defined groups and the general public.
We also receive donations from the general public and local businesses.
Meet our team
Bolstering Board Members
The descision makers. The cogs grinding away behind the scenes. Our board members' aim is to represent independent and diverse perspectives while taking challenges head on to ensure the longevity of the service we offer.
Claire Austin - Chair Woman & Founder: "I decided to set up Exmouth Friends In Need in November 2018 following on from supporting people who were homeless, and doing collections of coats and warm clothing for people in Calais. But I noticed just how many people were struggling, and living in poverty within Exmouth and surrounding areas, so I set the group up predominantly to help local people over the tough winter period. However it soon became something that was obviously very much needed, as it grew phenomenally in numbers to almost 8000 members today.
I am a mum of three children who are 10 and 13 and 16 and I've always thrived on being busy but this was another scale!
I have always enjoyed helping people having previously been a carer for 23 years.
What I Love the most about the whole group is the fact that we have brought a real sense of community spirit back to Exmouth, just like in the old days when people used to look after their neighbours and would pass things down to each other and have second-hand items rather than buying new, this being one of our core beliefs. I am so pleased to say it has also had a huge impact environmentally, preventing tens of thousands of items going to landfill.
I too, have suffered hardship when my children were little and I know how difficult it is when there isn't somebody to reach out to for help.
I just want people to feel that they're never alone when they have Exmouth Friends In Need behind them."
David Kennedy - Treasurer: "I’m an ex finance professional who retired to Exmouth in 2018. Having worked with many voluntary organizations over the years I wanted to continue to give something back to the community I live in. It’s an absolute pleasure to work with Claire and the rest of the EFIN team helping those who unexpectedly find themselves in times of personal or financial hardship and needing support"
Nichola Gambling - Secretary: "I became a member of Exmouth Friends In Need way back in the beginning and after following the amazing work Claire was doing I decided to get in touch with her. Experiencing my own difficult journey and understanding just how difficult life changes can be, I joined the team by volunteering my help with the Cake Sales, Fundays and Raffles. I soon became an Admin and have supported the growth of the Facebook page for 2 years now and have since gone on to directly support our families also and recently taken on the position of secretary.
Seeing the huge impact of what EFIN has on those living in poverty and the amazing positive outcomes is something very close to my heart and I'm so very proud to be part of such an outstanding community group. The lives changed, the friendships grown, the isolation conquered and the new beginnings is just a small part of what I love about volunteering for EFIN. "
Our Voracious Volunteers
From sorting out boxes of support for our families to deliveries to all over Exmouth our Volunteers are a fundamental part of Exmouth Friends In Need
Vicki: "It started with this message to the Exmouth Community.....
‘I saw this on a page in Worcester. With all the restaurants with food that’s going to go off or be unused shouldn’t we come up with some kind of plan to donate to the homeless or those in need.......? Food for thought. And them hopefully. Ideas?’
The force of Claire Austin of Exmouth Friends In Need came into our lives.....
I’m Vicki, I have three children and four step children ( hate that term), I have a lovely husband and home. I have food and clothes. I live in a beautiful town by the sea. I have a part time job... I always want more but that’s normal isn’t it?
I am lucky that I have never been in the position that the guys Claire helps have and are! But I do realise, after experiencing some major life happenings how close we all are to that point.
My husband John loves cooking and Claire found out ....so the next thing we knew, the house became a hive of activity with an Indian Restaurant and Krispies delivering to us all their left overs... 300 pieces of amazing fish, potatoes, chips, chicken, sauces and more... John cooked and packed, with my help, ready made meals in the hundreds...
I discovered that all this food was delivered by ‘Elves’ and as I had begun to make masks for us I made some for them. The call went out for fabric, elastic and interfacing,
I made over 600 +
I’m so lucky to have found this community of generous people who give of their time and energy to help others. I have been kept busy over the various lockdowns with many other tasks including deliveries, painting, preparation of ‘new to them’ homes and other tasks. I watch other people give of their time and energy, and feel I could do more, life gets in the way and as lockdowns ease things will change but situations for some folk find themselves in won’t."
Laura: "I’m a single parent to 2 children and grandparent to 1.
I was one of the first families that Claire and the page helped at the very beginning. I was alone and scared as a single parent to a toddler. I had recently left a domestic abusive relationship and subsequently had a breakdown. I therefore had to give up my well paid job and was just existing in my home. Various people were trying to help sort my benefits, however due to my breakdown and my loss of speech from it, this was extremely difficult and took a long time.
Through Claire and the page, I was able to give my children Christmas and birthday presents and feed them healthy food.
Slowly I, with the help of the page, got myself out of the whole I was in and have been helping with the page since as an elf. I can not explain how rewarding it is to give back to the very page that helped me when I was at my lowest and scared.
I help out on the admin side of the page and help out with some delivering around Christmas time, to deliver all the hundreds of donations from the community for the current families that the page supports."
Ruth: "EFIN is very close to my heart. After losing my home and living in temporary housing alone with 2 very young children I know how hard it can be and without the help and support of others I don’t know how I would have managed. Claire and her team do an amazing job of supporting people who really need it and I’m honoured to be a part of that and give to others the support they need like I received. I have been a part of this for about a year and hope to continue to be for the foreseeable future. X"
Ted: "I first volunteered at the start of Covid Lockdown 1. Claire had leafleted all around Exmouth offering support for those who would be shielding or not wanting to leave their homes. I mainly respond to requests for pharmacy collections. After one year of volunteering, I have made over 450 individual deliveries. I was born in Exmouth and have lived here for most of my life. I take pride in helping residents of our lovely town."
Vanessa: "I enjoy being one of EFIN’S delivery/collection elves mainly due to the fact that I find it extremely rewarding helping other people out & checking in to see if they are ok.
“Sometimes a friendly face & some kind words is enough to brighten someone’s day”
I am a single mum to which most of my time is dedicated to raising my 2 year old son & I hope his life skills will also involve helping out others too!!"
We're always in need of Donations.
Get in touch to find out the best way you can help!