Albert’s Story

How surplus food has been a lifesaver for one former soldier.

“This food has saved my life and I think it will save other people’s in the future. I was in the position that without food from FareShare and the West Indian Association of Service Personnel I would be begging.”

Albert was recruited directly from St Lucia to serve in the British Army as a Chef. He saw combat in Afghanistan and Iraq and left the Army in 2012 when he came to London to work as a Chef, on the assumption that, having served in the British Army, he had the right to live and work in the UK. However, his application for indefinite leave to remain in the UK was rejected and as a consequence he had to stop working while he appealed the decision.

Albert crop

Albert pictured with his medals for military service with the British Army.

He and his family were, and still are, destitute. He turned to the West Indian Association of Service Personnel in Clapham for support and on a weekly basis, receives food parcels from the WASP Food Bank, which is supplied by FareShare, as well as legal support on his immigration appeal.

He says “The food helps me and my family survive. In the future I want to volunteer at WASP and be part of it. Maybe volunteering in the kitchen.”

A life saver  for service personnel

From their kitchen in South London the West Indian Association of Service Personnel (WASP) give support to British Army veterans of all backgrounds who are facing tough times. It’s from here that food parcels are issued to former soldiers who are homeless or struggling to find employment. It’s also the place where volunteers prepare sit-down meals for older veterans facing loneliness, often followed by enthusiastic sing-a-longs.

Food provision goes hand in hand with emotional, physical and practical support. WASP’s Steve Evans explains “using FareShare cuts down our food bill. The money we save goes into our benevolent fund, a fund to help destitute soldiers with essentials like transport, clothing and finding somewhere to live.”

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