Rachel Jackson, with the practical and financial support of Mike Douglas, VISAV's Product Director, set up a food exchange in Sherwood during March, at the start of the panic buying because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rachel explained on the project's Facebook page, "We are a local exchange for local people! We are here to accept food donations or household items, and here for people to access food and household items they require. We are a non profit organization and rely upon your donations and good will!"

 The food exchange is hosted on the patio area downstairs. of the Sherwood Business Centre, where VISAV Ltd are located. I asked Rachel, now that the food exchange has been running for over two months, if she felt the project has been worthwhile. If you would like to support this project financially visit Rachel's fundraiser 

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Rachel told me,"Calling VISAV was one of the best moves I could make when wanting to run a community initiative as straight away, as soon as I spoke to Mike I knew he had the same passion about supporting the community as me and his 'can do' and dynamic attitude enabled us to settle up in just two weeks following from that contact.

Since we set up, we've had an enormous community response. People initially came down to donate food to us within the first week and then people started to visit to take as well as donate. Since this date, we estimate that we've had up to 100 visitors a week and can tell this by the number of protective gloves we have got through.

We're currently running a Survey Monkey questionnaire to discern how the exchange is being used to plan for the future and we're finding out that the exchange is being accessed by all sectors of society from students to unemployed people to furloughed and working people. This was exactly what we wanted. All members of the community coming together during a time of uncertainty to share food and resources. All visitors we've heard from so far have been very happy with the ease of using the exchange and the principle of it. One comment on our Facebook page sums it up by saying 'makes me proud of living in Sherwood'.

Without VISAV none of this would have happened. The idea I had would have stayed just an idea and not now and exchange which is looking to the future, employing volunteers and considering a role within the future post COVID-19."

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