Foodbank volunteers stage demonstration in bid to fight off eviction

Dundee council says it needs the space back for other uses - but volunteers warn the future of the service is at stake.

Volunteers at a Dundee foodbank have been demonstrating outside their centre in a bid to fight off an eviction notice served by the council.

Mill O’ Mains foodbank staff gathered to voice their frustration outside the building on Friday, in what looks set to be the last day the facility will open.

“Hopefully the powers that be listen to us and will realise that we’re serious. We really want to stay here,” explained Yvonne Mullen, Mill O’ Mains Pavilion Chair.

“It would be great if we could. It would be good for the community, good for foodbank users.

“Where are they going to go, once we go? The nearest foodbank to us is a bus journey away, so that’s not very good for locals, especially, if they don’t drive.”

Mill O’Mains Foodbank, which lost its pavilion in a blaze in 2017, supports the community from a sheltered housing unit that the council says it now needs back.

Those connected to the group say it’ll leave the charity with nowhere else to go.

“People are passionate about us staying here, that they want us to continue running from here,” said Yvonne.

Pavilion chair Yvonne Mullen

“We’re a safety point for a lot of people who live in the community.

“It’s not just about the foodbank, it’s about what we do as a community group.”

Dundee City Council issued a final eviction notice last month.

It says the housing service needs the space to support its tenants and residents.

Evelyn Scott, who has used the centre for several years, is dismayed by the news the site is set to close.

“It’s such a godsend to quite a lot of people, not just in Mill O’Mains,” she said.

“They come from various other places. Fintry and Kirkton, they come for the foodbank.

“It’s a great help to people on a low income.”

Evelyn Scott said the service is a 'godsend' for those in need

“We’re not moving anything,” said volunteer Jim Malone.

“If the council want us out of this small room, they’ll be doing the moving.

“As much as this food has been donated by various groups, we’ll be leaving it here.”

A spokesperson for the council said: “Dundee City Council has a purpose-built community facility at Mill of Mains Primary School which any community group can access and was offered to the foodbank organisers.

“Housing and communities teams also explored other alternative options in very close proximity to the sheltered lounge and we continue to listen to any concerns and offer support to the group to help them identify solutions.

“The Housing Service require the use of the space in the sheltered complex to facilitate the delivery of activities for our tenants and residents.”

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