An enthusiastic home brewer who is saddened by the plight of many in Burton and South Derbyshire has created a home brew which will be sold to raise funds for this year’s Feed Our Families appeal.

Morgan Silk, 47, has never taken part in the Burton Mail's festive campaign before but after his partner pointed it out to him, he came up with a novel way to contribute while doing what he loves.

Morgan, from Hartshorne, said: "I am a keen home brewer and regularly attend a home brew club at Marstons DE14 nano-brewery.

"They set us a challenge to create a beer recipe using unusual grains and I created one using breakfast cereal ingredients such as wheats, oats and rice.

"They really liked it and I was invited to brew a prototype batch with one of their graduate brewers.

"I wanted to get casks for my locals, the Admiral Rodney in Hartshorne and the Fuggle and Nugget micro-pub in Burton, and they both agreed to put the proceeds to charity.

"While the Fuggle and Nugget will donate the cash to the YMCA, I asked that the other funds go towards the Feed Our Families campaign, which I think is a very good cause."

The ale is a collaboration-brewed New England IPA 7.1 per cent which recently sold out when it made a debut at DE14's beer festival at Uttoxeter Races last month.

Morgan said: "Marston's is really pleased with it and I think they are going to brew another batch which is great for me as a home brewer.

"I am a photographer by trade but I started home brewing as a hobby about three years ago and I was hooked straight away; it is a very popular pastime now and it is starting to produce good results.

The self-named beer is on sale at the Fuggle and Nugget and the Admiral Rodney pub, with all proceeds going to the Feed Our Families appeal

"I am just doing what I enjoy and if it can make some money for such good causes then everyone is all the better for it. It is not about making profit but it is a good thing for us to do.

"We can get rid of the beer before it goes off, share what I do with people in the village and raise cash and food for good causes, so why not? I know lots of people have jumped on board locally, including my neighbour which shows how good Feed Our Families is and how needed it is."

Morgan said he had noticed a rise in the number of people sleeping rough and using food banks and he wants to do what he can to help.

He said: "You notice it more and more at the moment. I lived in London for 15 years and there were always people sleeping in doorways. It has continued to rise and is a problem everywhere.

"It is a sad state of affairs in what seems to be a wealthy country, for some reason the money doesn’t seem to be going to where it is needed most.

"It makes me think how lucky I am and if I can do something to help I want to."

Ale enthusiasts are being urged to hurry if they want to get their hands on some DE14 Morgan Silk, because when it is gone, it is gone.

Feed Our Families is an appeal run by the Burton Mail to help local food banks feed families in Burton and South Derbyshire who may have fallen on hard times in the run-up to the festive period. It has been running for almost a month and officially closes on Friday, although donations will still be gratefully received at any time of the year.

The campaign, which is in its fourth year, will this year be sharing all items donated between the South Derbyshire CVS, The Eaton Foundation, The Salvation Army in Burton and Burton's branch of the YMCA.

How can you donate to Feed Our Families?

For many people Christmas is a happy time, but for some it can be anything but.

A few tins could be the difference between a family in need eating or going hungry. Just 50p could buy a tin of soup, and help keep a child warm. So where can you donate? We are appealing for people to pop one extra tin in their weekly shop and donate that. Of course, if you can afford more that would be brilliant.

There are drop-off points at Burton in Sainsbury's, in Union Street, and Sainsbury's, in Civic Way, Swadlincote.

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If you are a pupil at a local school, check if there is a donation point there and if not, ask your teachers to get your school involved.

Punch Taverns is backing the campaign, as are schools including Granville Academy and Paulet High School.

We want you, our generous readers, to also donate, whether that be setting up a collection point at your youth club or in the pub. If you want to get involved, please contact reporter Rhea Turner on 01283 245047 or email rhea.turner@burtonmail.co.uk

Editor Emma Turton calls for readers to back Feed Our Families

"After the incredible success of last year's Feed Our Families appeal it was a no-brainer that the Burton Mail would launch and run it again for 2017.

"We know finances are still tight for a lot of our readers, so we are not asking people for money or to dig too deep for the appeal: instead we are asking our readers to buy an extra tin or packet of food when they do their weekly shopping and drop it in to one of the collection points.

"We want to make sure the food banks in Burton and South Derbyshire have plenty of produce this Christmas, ready to be handed out to the people in our community who really need it this festive season.

"The response last year was phenomenal, the charities which shared the donations were overwhelmed with the generosity of our readers: we hope to match or beat last year when more than 15,000 items were donated.

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"Already we have several schools, supermarkets and major employers in Burton and South Derbyshire on board. They have offered to set up donation boxes or run a donation day to boost the campaign.

"It really is fantastic to see, yet no surprise."

"I want to thank, in advance, every single reader who donates to make sure the most needy in our communities have food in their cupboards this Christmas."

What can I donate to Feed Our Families?

For those of you who have made the generous decision to give something to the needy this Christmas, you may be a bit unsure of just what the food banks are after to get the most out of the foods. Therefore we have produced a list of non-perishable items that will be gratefully received.

Items which you can donate:

  • UHT milk (500ml or 1 litre cartons or screw top bottles)
  • Coffee
  • Teabags
  • Sugar
  • Breakfast cereal
  • Tinned meals
  • Tinned meat for Irish stew, chilli con carne, spaghetti bolognese, ravioli, macaroni cheese
  • Tinned hot dogs
  • Minced beef, curry, meatballs, etc
  • Tinned pies
  • Corned beef
  • Tinned or packet vegetables
  • Tinned fruit
  • Tinned tuna, salmon, sardines, etc
  • Soup
  • Baked beans
  • Spaghetti
  • Spaghetti hoops
  • Pasta
  • Pasta sauce
  • Rice
  • Savoury rice
  • Noodles
  • Pot Noodles
  • Rice pudding
  • Custard
  • Biscuits
  • Cereal bars
  • Crackers
  • Crisps
  • Chocolate
  • Jam