THE owners of a food bank have clashed with the council after being served with an ‘eviction notice’.

Ferndown Community Support (FCS) has been given six months to move out of Ferndown Day Centre and find somewhere else to run its food bank.

It comes as Care Dorset, owned by Dorset Council, looks to reclaim the kitchen space to use for its Ferndown Plus day service.

Stuart Wayment, director at FCS, said losing the premises in September would put the food bank “in jeopardy”.

Bournemouth Echo: Stuart WaymentStuart Wayment (Image: Stuart Wayment)

He told the Daily Echo: “We’ve been there for two years.

“We’ve built it up to a point where we probably see 200 people and families a week. It’s quite surprising how much its used – there’s a huge demand for it.

“If we have to leave, we don’t have anywhere to go.”

Stuart said FCS had attempted to negotiate with Care Dorset and Dorset Council, and even offered to provide meals for the Ferndown Plus day service, but both parties had “refused to engage”.

FCS has since posted on social media that it is “appalled at the decision of Care Dorset, and of the actions of Dorset Council”.

Bournemouth Echo: Tony, Hannah and Stuart of FCSTony, Hannah and Stuart of FCS (Image: Stuart Wayment)

Care Dorset said it was "a shame" to see FCS using "emotive language" such as 'served an eviction notice'.

Its spokesperson added: “It is disappointing to hear our good-faith attempts to engage with FCS described in these terms – which we do not recognise.

"We‘ve simply asked for the return of our kitchen space and have given FCS six months to find a new one – with our support, the support of Dorset Council and Ferndown Town Council.

Bournemouth Echo: Ferndown Community Support currently runs the food bank from Ferndown Day CentreFerndown Community Support currently runs the food bank from Ferndown Day Centre (Image: Ferndown Community Support)

“Having no kitchen space means we’re unable to provide the people we support – in most cases people with dementia – a hot, nutritious meal.

“Care Dorset exists for the people we support, and we do not apologise for making decisions which prioritise their wellbeing.”

Care Dorset said it “really appreciated” the proposed solutions by FCS but that it couldn’t move forward with any of them.

A Dorset Council spokesperson said: “We recognise that Care Dorset needs to be able to provide hot, nutritious meals for the people who attend Ferndown Plus day service, and the kitchen space in the building is required for this purpose.

"Alongside Ferndown Town Council, we are working with Ferndown Community Support to find suitable alternative premises for them so they can continue to provide their valuable support for local residents.”