IT'S fair to say Johnstone woman Elizabeth Alexander has had a lot on her plate in recent years.

The caring 53-year-old has become a familiar face to many through her role as manager of Renfrewshire Foodbank.

Now she is moving on to seek a new challenge – and has told how she hopes the day will come when the organisation she is leaving behind does not exist.

READ MORE: Universal Credit blamed as foodbank use continues to rise in Renfrewshire

Elizabeth told The Gazette: “I have been here at the foodbank for four-and-a-half years and I feel it’s time for someone with perhaps some fresh ideas to come in.

“It’s a very rewarding job and one that I would fully recommend. You look around and you see the poverty and you think it’s awful but, when you see how the foodbank operates, with people giving up their time to give to others, you see there’s a lot of kindness out there, which really helps.

“It’s a big job but, when we see people getting back on their feet, it’s well worth it.

“The foodbank’s ultimate aim is not to be needed at all but, sadly, that seems a long way off.

“It will continue to be here for people until, hopefully, there comes a time when it is no longer required.”

Elizabeth took on the role after becoming involved with the foodbank through her local church.

Despite witnessing growing demand for the foodbank every year, she insists her busy job has been extremely fulfilling.

“I think the thing I’ve loved most about working at the foodbank is helping the individual people who use it,” said Elizabeth.

“I see lots of people coming in who are distressed and people who have got real problems but, with a little bit of help and a little bit of care, it’s amazing how people come back from it.

“I like the fact the foodbank is not just a place where people get food. It also helps people to get their problems solved so they don’t have to rely on the foodbank.

“Often, people don’t know where to turn, so we act as a signposting service too.”

READ MORE: Sharp rise in foodbank demand as Universal Credit blamed

Elizabeth will leave the role at the end of next month and plans to take a break to consider her next challenge, while also spending some more time doing aromatherapy and reflexology.

She added: “I will, of course, still support the foodbank. It’s very close to my heart and I’m so passionate about what it does.”

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