19th December 2018
In October this year, Healthcare at Home introduced its brand-new food bank, where we’re actively encouraging colleagues to support vulnerable families and individuals in and around our local communities.Over the last couple of months, we’ve enjoyed supporting YMCA Burton and Pontefract Foodbank who are near to our main offices and have already organised two large collections from each charity!
We understand that the lead up to Christmas can be quite a daunting thing for some families and even affording basic food and toiletries can prove difficult. Both YMCA Burton and Pontefract Foodbank are run entirely by volunteers and provide emergency food parcels for those in need, however rely on our donations to keep this service running.
With this in mind and as we delve further into the festive period, individuals from Healthcare at Home organised our Christmas giving day that we aptly named ‘Beans for Jeans’. This gave colleagues the opportunity to dress down in return for a small donation for our food bank. Though we already know our colleagues are extremely driven when it comes to charitable giving, we have been absolutely blown away by the generosity demonstrated on this day. At our Head Office in Burton, we quickly filled our two trolleys and needed an additional trolley to continue our walk round the office (luckily, we have a rather large post trolley we were able to borrow for a while). Similarly, at our Featherstone office, more than eight large boxes were filled, and the majority collected, with the remainder being collected later this week.
Jackie Reeves, Human Resources Director at Healthcare at Home, told us ‘I was thrilled to see how many of our colleagues really got behind the ‘Beans for Jeans’ campaign. Everyone’s generosity was actually quite overwhelming, and I know how much it is appreciated by our friends at the YMCA and Pontefract Foodbank.’
We’ve been really encouraged by our colleagues’ willingness to help and it’s inspiring to see how involved individuals are becoming with these local charities. In November, three colleagues participated in YMCA Burton’s annual Sleep Out, raising over £1000 between them to help fund the support services provided to those in the local community.
Paula Senior, Fundraising Officer at YMCA Burton, commented ‘It was absolutely fantastic to see how many food items had been donated by HAH colleagues and will really make a big impact on the food available in the foodbank over Christmas and as we start the New Year. The power of a team working together should never be underestimated, particularly when supporting an external group or charity – what a mammoth collection of food.’
‘Last December we gave out 110 food parcels and we are close to 100 already this month with another 12 days to go. January is our peak month where we issue in excess of over 40 parcels per week. When you consider that people can only have four in any 12 month period, it’s a harsh statistic that so many people are having to use foodbanks when they are in crisis. It is a very valuable resource in Burton and one we are so thankful to have the support of local people and businesses to provide food for others.’
Our food banks will be accepting contributions all year round and we’ll also be introducing donation points for our clinicians across the UK for other local food banks. This, alongside our #communitychampion colleague volunteering days gives us a huge opportunity to get more involved in our local communities and lend a helping hand to those who need it the most.