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Diss Community Fridge Project returns and looks for a long-term home

Organisers of a community venture have said it is good to be back after a temporary closure was lifted.

Carol Kirkup and Ian Seymour made the difficult decision to close Diss Community Fridge in February after a number of volunteers were subjected to abuse from some users.

After two successful sessions, the project, which works to reduce food waste by giving out donated items, is back up and running.

Ian Seymour and Carol Kirkup from Diss Community Fridge Project. Picture: Kev Hurst
Ian Seymour and Carol Kirkup from Diss Community Fridge Project. Picture: Kev Hurst

Carol said it was a special moment to be able to reopen.

“It has been lovely to bring this back,” she said. “It is one of those projects that you become very fond of as there are so many people who are so grateful for us being there.”

Launched in June 2022 by founder Karen Sheen, the fridge was originally based on the first floor of Diss Youth and Community Centre in Shelfanger Road.

But after Diss Town Council discovered reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in its roof in December, it had to move.

After a temporary switch to the Salvation Army Community Hall, in Sunnyside, the project returned to the community centre’s foyer in January, but now hopes to find a long-term home.

Ian said: “Diss Town Council has been really supportive but we always knew we could only sustain this for a short time.

“Our needs are not extensive. Any new site just needs to be somewhere dry, where we can store food temporarily, and be open during the day and evening. An electricity supply is not essential.

“If someone has an empty shop we could use until they find a permanent tenant, or has land that we could put a shed or converted container on, that would be ideal.”

The community fridge is currently open on Thursdays, between 6pm and 7pm for anyone in need.

Anyone wishing to help with a new venue should email dissfridgeproject@gmail.com.

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