THE couple who founded the UK’s foodbank network have been named in the list of the greatest Britons of 2012 alongside Olympic medallists, actors, artists and The Queen.
Paddy and Carol Henderson, who started the Trussell Trust in their garden shed in 2000, have made the list of the top 101 people of last year, compiled by the Independent on Sunday.
Their names appear alongside Lord Coe, double Olympic champion Mo Farrah, musician Gary Barlow, Bradley Wiggins and Andy Murray.
Also on the list are heroic soldiers, entrepreneurs and children who have shown remarkable courage.
It was a story that ran in the Journal that sparked the formation of the Salisbury foodbank.
Mr and Mrs Henderson had set up the Trussell Trust to help orphans in Bulgaria and on seeing a report about the new charity a Journal reader contacted the couple to say that, while she admired the work they did abroad, there were people in Salisbury going hungry.
Very quickly the couple discovered the need for emergency food parcels that could be delivered to people in need.
They started Salisbury’s foodbank in their back garden before moving to a small warehouse on the edge of the city. The foodbank network soon began to grow.
Last January there were 145 foodbanks and there are now 297 nationwide, feeding 100,000 people in the last six months.
This is the first time the couple has made the list of Greatest Britons and they are still trustees of the charity despite moving to New Zealand and handing over the running of the charity to a new team. Although they are officially retired, the couple have been working with the victims of New Zealand’s earthquakes, helping them in the aftermath of the disaster. “The Trussell Trust is so excited that our founders Paddy and Carol Henderson have been nationally recognised as ‘Great Britons’ alongside the likes of the Queen and Jessica Ennis,” said Molly Hodson from the Trussell Trust.
“Paddy and Carol are truly inspirational people. It’s incredible to think that their foodbank idea that started in a garden shed in Salisbury is now a nationwide network providing emergency food to hundreds of thousands of people.
“We’re proud and delighted that their vision and commitment to helping people in crisis has been publically acknowledged, and The Trussell Trust team will continue to do our best to build on their legacy.”
After receiving the accolade Mrs Henderson said: “All I can say is ‘wow’ and thanks to the team who have taken the Trusell Trust to the next level, it is great achievement by all involved.”