Alongside prioritising support for our members and teams we were keen to support our wider communities also so we tripled our planned charitable donations for the first half of 2020 to £100,000.
We used £90,000 of this donation to increase our support for local foodbanks, continue to tackle homelessness within our communities and reduce social isolation and loneliness for the elderly.
As well as £30,000 each for homelessness charity Framework and The Silver Line, an organisation that helps prevent older people from feeling socially isolated, another £30,000 went to 20 Trussell Trust supported foodbanks across our heartland.
But what does the money get spent on and just how does it positively impact our local communities?
Trussell Trust Foodbanks
Several of the foodbanks kindly took time out - during one of the busiest and most in-demand periods they have ever encountered due to the knock-on effects of the virus - to speak to our team about how and where the funds are being directed.
Rachel from Burngreave Foodbank, Sheffield, where we have four branches in the local area explained how the demand for their services has increased.
She said: “This extremely generous donation will make a huge difference. We’ve seen a significant increase in demand since the coronavirus outbreak; last year we averaged about 33 food parcels a week feeding 83 people but recently we have been giving out about 60 food parcels per week, feeding at least twice that number. This donation will enable us to buy some much needed supplies, particularly items that we are running short of.”
Jules from Loughborough Area Foodbank added: “The Nottingham's financial help is helping so many people during this crisis. In April alone we have fed 385 people of whom, 113 of them were children.”
The Silver Line
The Silver Line offers a 24-hour free and confidential helpline (0800 4 70 80 90) for older people to call if they feel lonely.
Their need for funding has never been greater due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since the outbreak, The Silver Line has seen a 30% increase in the number of helpline calls received, and the support from The Nottingham will help to answer vital calls, day and night, from lonely and isolated older people across the UK.
Anne Leivers, Head of People and Development at The Nottingham, pictured below, said: “Lockdown is a very challenging time for everyone, but especially so for older generations who in some cases can feel isolated. During this difficult time we are committed to supporting older people where we can, particularly as many of our members are in that demographic. Our branches have always been important places for some in terms of social contact, however with the current unprecedented events having taken that away for now we hope that the donation to The Silver Line can help bridge the gap.”
Framework, a charity working with homeless and vulnerably housed people across the East Midlands, recently launched an emergency fundraising appeal to help fund its response to the crisis – using the money raised to deliver emergency food and care packages to hundreds of people, and to buy personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep staff and residents safe.
As a long-term supporter of Framework and their fantastic work within our community, we agreed to waive the rent the charity pays for use of our former branch on Friar Lane for the next six months on top of our £30,000 donation.
So far Framework has delivered more than 1,000 meals to people in the community and going forward it is expected to deliver more than 600 meals a week to people in need, along with care packages of household items. The charity has also had to spend more than £20,000 on PPE and also faces considerable additional costs in order to fill staff shortages.
Fundraising Manager Andy Shields said: “This is a fantastic show of support from our friends at The Nottingham that really could not have come at a better time. This money will be a huge help to us in the weeks ahead.”
The final £10,000 of our charity and community donations has been used to support Nottingham City Council and the second year of Story Parks, but this year, from home. This imitative is aimed at improving literacy and numeracy amongst primary school aged children around the area of Nottingham but fortunately this year we can reach further communities in our heartlands due to the online element of Story Parks. Check out the Story Parks website for a library full of activities for children from at home bug-hunting videos to storytelling to crafts and bedtime yoga.
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