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submitted 3 weeks ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Field, who died on Tuesday aged 81, is perhaps best known for his decades campaigning to end poverty. But on the Wirral it seems almost everyone has other lasting memories of him.

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In 2017 he reduced other MPs to tears when he described how one resident said they had had a “lucky week” because their family had been invited to a funeral and so they could eat the food left over after the wake.

Three years earlier, Field had established Feeding Birkenhead, which brings together churches, food banks, community groups and other organisations to try to eliminate hunger in the town, one of the UK’s poorest.

A decade later, that pioneering initiative has grown to become Feeding Britain, which now feeds 100,000 children during the school holidays.

“We thought this was going to be a stopgap for people but it’s getting worse,” said Judy Mellor, 67, a volunteer at the community centre. “There are more people coming through our doors now than there have ever been. It’s horrendous.”

On a day when Birkenhead is in mourning, it seems impossible to quantify the number of people helped by Field during his four decades in parliament. The thought of where the town – and Britain – might be if it wasn’t for their former MP was almost too much for Mellor to bare.

“I wouldn’t like to think about that because it’s a frightening thought,” she said, close to tears. “Where would we be if it wasn’t for Frank? Where would thousands and thousands of people be if it wasn’t for Frank? It’s a sad day. We could do with hundreds more like Frank down there.”

The more standard obit.

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[-] [email protected] 1 points 3 weeks ago

This is the best summary I could come up with:


In a community cafe in Rock Ferry, one of the most deprived parts of Wirral, a landline phone connected directly to Frank Field’s Westminster office.

Field, who represented Birkenhead for 40 years, could often be found mingling with residents in the Neo Community centre, where he would make himself at home, even down to washing the dishes.

“He would just rock up all the time and sit in the middle of the cafe chatting to people,” said Ema Wilkes, the founder and chief executive of Neo Community, which distributes foods to thousands of local families each year thanks to the Feeding Birkenhead scheme set up by the former MP.

Jackie Knox, 62, remembers Field helping her mother with a minor dispute over some building work encroaching on to her terrace house decades ago.

In 2017 he reduced other MPs to tears when he described how one resident said they had had a “lucky week” because their family had been invited to a funeral and so they could eat the food left over after the wake.

Three years earlier, Field had established Feeding Birkenhead, which brings together churches, food banks, community groups and other organisations to try to eliminate hunger in the town, one of the UK’s poorest.


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this post was submitted on 24 Apr 2024
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