In the lead up to Christmas and New Year, local food banks will be giving out emergency supplies to more people than ever before. The soaring cost of living means more and more people are being forced to use food banks.
Your kindness this Christmas will have a real impact on those in our communities struggling the most.
Agents Giving is calling on agents and suppliers to urge people to get involved where they can with their time, support, collections, and donations for their own local food banks.
Fill your stocking with some sweet treats such as:
· Boxes of chocolates
· Selection boxes
· Chocolate oranges
· Tubes of sweets
· Hanging tree chocolates
· Mini Christmas crackers
· Chocolate coins
· Christmas cakes & bars
· Christmas biscuits
· Christmas puddings
Collect up what you can in your office, ask your community and other local businesses to support you by donating items, pop them into stockings of any size and donate onto your local food bank who will be delighted to receive your support as will those receiving them.
Tell Agents Giving who you are supporting at: https://agentsgiving.org/event/christmas-stocking-campaign/ and don’t forget to share your Christmas stocking donation photos.
Agents Giving would also like to thank everyone who attended EA Masters last week for their support of its Food Bank Appeal, which raised £11,000 on the day.
David Newnes, chairman of Agents Giving, said: “We can’t thank you enough for all your support, we were blown away with your kindness and generosity, collectively making a big difference to the food bank effort this winter.”
Relocation Agent Network: As part of the Agents Giving Winter Warmth Campaign, in association with the Only A Pavement Away charity and supported by Relocation Agent Network, Thomas Morris has been collecting coats for the homeless in the past few weeks.
The coats were collected by Mick Pescod of the local Three Pillars charity that supports people living on the streets in Cambridgeshire by providing food, tents, sleeping bags and much needed clothing such as coats.
Simon Bradbury, managing director of Thomas Morris, said: “We lost count of exactly how many coats we had donated but it was well over 40.
“I’m so grateful to every single person who donated across our branch network. It’s really going to make a difference to so many people in need of keeping warm this winter.
“It really is an honour and a privilege to support our local communities in this way.
“I am extremely proud of our teams and what they do.”
Barratt Developments: The Barratt Foundation, the charitable arm of the country’s largest housebuilder, Barratt Developments, is helping support social care charities in Kent by pledging £15,000 to Spadework.
Spadework is a charity in Kent that provides care, support, and meaningful opportunities for adults with learning and other disabilities (their trainees), people experiencing problems with their mental health and those living with dementia. Activities for trainees include horticulture and gardening, creative and performing arts, woodwork and life skills.
Mike Scott, chief finance officer at Barratt Developments, recently went to see their work and to hand over a cheque for £15,000. He said: “We are delighted to help support Spadework, who help adults living with learning disabilities, mental health issues and dementia to be more independent and feel less isolated.
“It was great to see this work in action when we visited them and how our donation is helping support their activities.”
Kris Healey, Spadework’s chief executive, said: “We were absolutely thrilled to receive the donation from the Barratt Foundation. Our Social Enterprises – our café, garden centre and farm shop – are open 7 days a week and are a vital source of funding to support the care we provide for vulnerable adults, especially at a time of such drastic cuts in statutory funding.
“Our café is a busy, thriving hub for our local community but the kitchen equipment was in dire need of replacement following years of loyal service delivering our delicious all-day breakfasts and this donation came at just the right time. We’d like to say a ‘Big Spadework Thank You’ to Mike and his team for their support.”
Barratt David Wilson Homes: Canterbury, housebuilder Barratt David Wilson Homes, who is building new homes at Saxon Fields in Thanington and The Woodlands in Broad Oak, is continuing to fulfil its long-term partnership with Canterbury-based homeless charity Catching Lives, where the team recently volunteered at its day centre kitchen.
Catching Lives works to support individuals affected by homelessness, rough sleeping, and insecure housing in and around Canterbury.
Last winter, the charity successfully met its winter goals of providing a safe space for people to spend their evenings, arranging evening meals and hot drinks for those who with insecure housing, whilst ensuring those who are vulnerably housed or homeless stay safe and warm during colder months.
Earlier this year, Barratt David Wilson Kent donated £15,000 to ensure the centre could remain open 365 days a year to provide constant support. Now, the housebuilder has supported the charity once again, with senior members of the team including Will Walsh, Natalie Perry, Luke Cooper, Karen Dunn, Oliver Chapman, Bruce Constantine and Alex Evans volunteering at the day centre kitchen in early November. Meals were provided to visitors, providing a safe space for them to enjoy lunch.
Natalie Perry, sales and marketing director for Barratt David Wilson Kent, said: “I have a very personal connection to homelessness, having found myself in this position over 20 years ago now. The work that organisations such as Catching Lives do to support the community is invaluable, it is only right that we give back and lend them a helping hand. The kitchen was a great success, providing meals and a safe space for vulnerable people in the Kent community. We hope our efforts will continue to aid Catching Lives and all its vital work.”
Tasmin Maitland, chief executive at Catching Lives, added: “Now more than ever, we are seeing more people attending our breakfast and lunch services, with rising costs impacting more and more each day.
“Support comes in all forms, all of which aids us in our efforts in providing for those in most need. Every donation, and every action helps, and we are thankful organisations like Barratt David Wilson Kent, whose continued involvement allows us to provide for those in the local community who are facing troubles. Their efforts in volunteering have made an immense difference in our service, and we urge anyone in the local community looking to get involved to do the same.”
Spicerhaart: A charity that has helped make dreams come true for hundreds of children with life-limiting illnesses and their families is celebrating its landmark 25th anniversary.
Magic Moments, the in-house charity of Spicerhaart, was set up by chief executive Paul Smith and his father Alick, late mother Val and sister Alison in 1998.
Since then, with the help of colleagues, friends, and family, the charity has raised more than £2.5million which has paid for 500 children being supported by hospices across the UK to go to Lapland and an incredible 2,450 children and family members to visit Disneyland Paris.
They’ve also donated 3,000 Easter eggs and more than 1,500 teddy bears, as well as 30 iPads to hospices during the pandemic so children could stay in touch with their loved ones online.
Paul, who is now executive chairman of the company, said: “It has been a real family effort to build a charity with a purpose.
“The money has been raised almost exclusively by the Spicerhaart family who have done everything from cake sales to sponsored cycle rides to the Three Peaks Challenge.
“I’d like to thank everyone for their hard work, contributions and determination to give these children their last wishes.”
Magic Moments was launched initially after a family with a terminally ill eight-year-old daughter had to bring their Christmas forward.
The Spicerhaart team supported them by donating presents and helping to make the celebration special and memorable.
Alick, who joined Paul in running Spicerhaart, added: “Our company was in its embryonic stage but the staff embraced the charity from the start. Magic Moments would have never been what it is if it wasn't for the effort, not just from the senior team, but everyone in the company.”
Emma Barber, the chair of Magic Moments, added: “Every year, we never fail to deliver an incredible trip for the families and their children.
“These families are going through the worst moment of their lives; their children are in a hospice and they haven't even thought about having a holiday. And then we make a call to them and it changes their world.
“Taking them to Disney, leaving the hospice behind and seeing them enjoying the magic is incredible. One family told me, ‘You gave me the opportunity for my children to see me as a parent, not just through the hospice.’ Even now that gives me goosebumps.
“Our colleagues and their friends and families are the beating heart of Magic Moments and we couldn’t do this without them.”