Unsung hero: Olympic volunteer half-way to feeding 5,000
A former nursery school nurse and Olympic Gamesmaker who helped set up Kingston’s food bank has been nominated as an unsung hero.
Chris Steer, 66, of Stokesby Road, Chessington, worked at Christ Church Primary school in Berrylands for 22 years – spending four years as a classroom assistant after retiring for the first time.
At last summer’s Olympics she was part of the security team at the Earl’s Court volleyball events.
And since December 2011 she has organised the Kingston Food Bank distribution centre at the United Reform Church on Eden Street.
So far the charity has given out 2,800 food parcels.
She said: “Since getting involved with it, it is my passion – it is what I feel I should be doing. I have developed a love for the people. At many of the places they go to they are just a number on a file. I think I have developed a listening ear.
“All over the Christmas period we were the busiest we have ever been. At the moment we have people who are coming in, whose situation has not been resolved in quite a few months.
“And the homeless situation in Kingston has got much worse this winter.”
Mrs Steer was quick to praise residents’ generosity during food collections at supermarkets.
She said: “People are very generous. Most are quite happy to put a couple of extra tins in their basket for you.”
Paul Pickhaver, leader at Surbiton Community Church, said: “Chris was involved from the start – she is always one of the first to volunteer.
“She is someone who just has a real heart for people and demonstrates it in particularly caring ways.
“It is not just meeting clients and running the team, it is making sure when the food comes in you run a good service. She is probably just as busy in retirement as she was when she was working.”
Kingston food bank is open from 11am to 2pm on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Do you know an unsung hero? Call 020 8744 4273 or email newsdesk@surrey comet.co.uk.