Scots ex-foodbank worker ‘devastated’ by ‘dreadful’ unfair dismissal ordeal

Published date24 May 2022
Caroline Marsland tookDumbarton-based Food For Thought to an employment tribunal after being dismissed in 2019, with a judge last month finding the process had been procedurally unfair

She claimed she was let go over her concerns about a married priest having a relationship with a ‘vulnerable’ member of his congregation – an allegation the clergyman last week told the Lennox was “seriously untrue.”

A judge ruled the dismissal was procedurally unfair but said it was not related to the allegation.

Last week, the foodbank hit out at being forced to hand over the cash “during the worst cost of living crisis we have seen” – with the priest saying £8000 had been taken “from the mouths of hungry people.”

Caroline has hit back this week, telling the Lennox Herald she has been left with extreme anxiety and depression.

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She said: “This has been the most dreadful ordeal for both myself and my family. It has devastated my mental health, my career and my religious life.

“I have been left with no job, no income, no self-esteem and no church through no fault of my own.

“I still have extreme anxiety and depression and take medication daily.”

She said she felt “sick to the stomach” over the comment saying she has taken food out of people’s mouths, saying she was unfairly dismissed “only a matter of weeks” after she “blew the whistle.”

She went on: “This sum of money in no way compensates me for my subsequent loss of earnings or indeed the damage to my mental health.

“I am thankful to my family for all the financial and emotional support, for support from medical and legal teams without which I may not have made it through the darkest of days.”

The charity, which provides emergency food parcels to struggling residents across West Dunbartonshire, last week told the Lennox Herald the payout was “not welcomed” and claims the original bid was for £48,000.

But it said it was pleased with the tribunal process outcome, saying it “allowed a lot of false claims and inaccuracies to be quashed.”

At the time, the foodbank operated from the community hall of St Augustine’s Scottish Episcopal Church on Dumbarton High Street and the priest was chairman of the charity’s committee.

The employment tribunal, held in Glasgow in February, heard Mrs Marsland was unhappy that the clergyman, referred to as ‘DE, in the judgement, was...

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