Welham doing his bit

On a day-to-day basis, Coventry Bears centre or second-rower Liam Welham is used to delivering rugby sessions with the Hull FC Foundation, using sport as a tool to try and improve lives.

But now he is delivering something altogether different as he has taken it upon himself to make sure those in need around the Hull area receive the vital food they need during the current lockdown.

Using contacts he has with the Foundation, the 31-year-old is travelling around the city delivering supplies to those who need it.

“It all started because we realised that some of our students at Hull FC College were coming in and not paying full attention,” explained Welham.

“At first we put that down to the just having an off day or behaving badly, but we soon realised that a lot of them weren’t getting the nutritional values they needed at the start of the day due to their home circumstances.

“So we took it upon ourselves to provide a breakfast club for them and make sure they get a half-decent meal while at college.

“For that, we linked up with group called FairShare, who redistribute the surplus food from superstores.

“With the way things are now, and everyone being in lockdown, college isn’t open and FairShare emailed me to see if I’d still be using my usual slot and collecting food or not given the situation.

“I just decided then I’d keep picking up the share of food as normal, but would distribute it to whoever needed it locally.

“There is no point it going to waste, or otherwise perfectly edible food would be thrown away.

“We’re still helping out the college students who we knew needed it, but my wife is a nurse and I have some friends in the police and some who are carers so I used those contacts and got the message out on social media to see who needed it locally.

“I do a daily update on Facebook saying how many parcels I have and asking who needs them. Once I am sent names and address I will deliver them a parcel.

“The deal with FairShare in through the Foundation but I pay for it myself and because I pick the food up every day people there know my face and I am getting more food from them than normal because of what I am doing, which is fantastic.

“I get an email at 8 am to tell me what food is available, I then go and pick it up at 10 and take it home. We have a family production line in the garden where all the food is lined up and me, the wife and my two kids put one or two of everything in each bag, bundle it all back in the car and I go out delivering it.

“I know we’re doing a good thing and that it’s appreciated. But I am not doing it for any accolades.

“Because of the rugby and my job being quite sporty I am not used to sitting in the house even for an hour, never mind full days.

“This keeps me busy, so it’s win-win all around.”