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Local Hero Stephanie a favourite with neighbours  

Homes Plus has named Stafford resident Stephanie, as its latest Local Hero.  

For almost four years, Stephanie has managed a well-stocked weekly table of surplus food which is collected by neighbours. The food is donated by local businesses, to community organisation Hearts and Hands. It is distributed into communities by a network of volunteers like Stephanie. 

As well as being hearing-impaired, Stephanie is also partially sighted. Some of her neighbours have learned sign language so that they can thank her properly and at Christmas, local school pupils surprised her by calling at her home to sing their favourite carols, which they interpreted in sign language.   

Visitors to Stephanie’s table contacted Homes Plus to tell them about the positive difference Stephanie makes in her community. She replenishes the stock on her table several times a day to make sure that everyone has a chance to collect the donated food, protects her stock in bad weather and provides a friendly welcome to everyone. She also receives donated tinned food as well as items for recycling.  

Stephanie has already worn out her first table and she’s on her second weather-protecting cover!   

“I enjoy looking after the table because I don’t like wasted food,” she says. “Times are hard and people don’t have a lot of money at the moment, so I am helping others and making sure that beautiful food isn’t thrown away.” 

Assisted by her mother and brother, Stephanie’s hard work has helped her become a very popular figure in her community. Although hearing-impaired people can sometimes find it harder to connect with others, Stephanie’s life is full of friendship. 

“I have got to know so many people through the table,” she says. “I have my regular visitors and it is always lovely to see them. I taught some of the children to sign ‘cake’ and now they call by to ask for a treat after school! 

“Stephanie is a total star. She goes above and beyond to make sure that her table is well-stocked in all weathers and she has created a real sense of community in the area,” said Lorraine Conkey, community project manager at Hearts & Hands Stafford.  

Homes Plus surprised Stephanie at her table, dropping-off some ‘Heroes’ chocolates for our Local Hero. 

“It was so wonderful to hear about Stephanie’s determination to make a positive difference,” explained our CEO, Sarah Boden. “We wanted to say thank you, on behalf of all the customers of ours who appreciate what she does.”