At BHSF, we are committed to giving back. We care and want to make a difference to customers and our local community. Our chosen charity partners reflect what’s important to our business. We work closely with them to help spread their message and raise money.
Many of our partners have been hit hard by this pandemic. They are experiencing a spike in demand for their services and have also had to adapt their services in one way or another. So, we wanted to do more to help.
We put together an Easter Egg-stravaganza fundraiser for employees to take part in and raise funds for our partners. We organised a raffle, a quiz, a “guess the number of mini eggs in the jar” competition, and a digital Easter egg hunt! Employees could take part in all four activities with a donation to their chosen partner. Through the Easter Egg-stravaganza fundraiser and company donations, we donated just over £5,000 to each of our charity partners listed below to help them through this crisis:
The Ladywood Project
The Ladywood Community project has existed as an organisation to help families and the community for the last 34 years and has had charitable status since November 2013. They have always actively listened to local people and this has shaped their services to pick up on the things their users struggle with. The biggest disadvantage facing families and their children today is poverty and the isolation that can bring.
Due to the pandemic, they have experienced an increase in demand and have helped multiple families who have had job losses from restaurant/entertainment venues. They have also had to adapt their services since the community centre in which they are based has closed and they are now working from home.
We wanted to do more to help. So, through the Easter Egg-stravaganza fundraiser and company donations, we donated £5,283 to help them through this crisis.
Since the lockdown, they have set up a food pantry at the new leisure centre and are getting weekly donations from Morrison’s which they distribute to families. They are organising online referrals to the food bank and their volunteers are offering home deliveries of the parcels for those who can’t get there. So far, they have been contacted by 38 Ladywood residents asking for help.
There are many service users who are suffering extreme hardship due to delays in benefits, high debt, rising prices and unexpected costs leaving them with no income. Although they refer them to local food banks for food, an increasing number are unable to cook because they have no money to put into their fuel meter. Many go without heating and lighting on a very regular basis. So, they have a fuel support scheme where a family or individual can receive financial help towards fuel costs. Since the lockdown, volunteers are going out on behalf of the project to put credit on gas and electricity meters and so far, they have spent £500 on this benefitting 27 adults and their 23 children.
Speaking about our donation and the activities mentioned above, Gerardine Giblin, the Ladywood Project Coordinator has said, “We really couldn’t have done this without the support that BHSF has given us. As well as securing our funding, your staff have given us practical help and great skills support as well as much encouragement. We are very grateful for all your help and continued support. Thank you to all the staff. You are brilliant”.
Sunflowers is a small, Liverpool-based charity supporting people living with cancer and other long-term conditions. Sunflowers has been providing vital support to patients, survivors and carers for over 30 years. Recently, the charity has broadened its remit to also offer help to those affected by other long-term conditions besides cancer. This support includes everything from counselling and complementary therapies, to exercise classes and social gatherings.
Speaking about our donation and the impact it’s had, Bobby Magee, the Development Manager at Sunflowers has said, “Things have been ticking along okay since the lockdown, but this fundraising really makes a difference in the added extras we’re able to offer people. The demographic of our client base is heavily in the 55+ and whilst most of them are silver surfers when it comes to the internet some miss out a bit and won’t entertain social media. This donation means we’ll be able to download all of our content and produce DVD’s to post out to people so they can enjoy mindfulness, Pilates, chair yoga and some of the interaction they have been used to in order to bring some normality back to their lives during this time. It’s these little eggs-tras that will make our charity more effective during this crisis so a HUGE thank you to all the staff!”
Bangor NI Foodbank
The Bangor NI Foodbank is based in the Ards and North Down Borough which is one of the most deprived areas across all of Northern Ireland. The foodbank provides compassionate, practical support to people in crisis to tackle the root causes that lock people into poverty and build people’s resilience so they are less likely to need a foodbank in the future.
Since the start of the Lockdown, the foodbank have helped over 310 families who are in isolation due to a wide range of medical conditions. They have also been supplying treat boxes to the staff at local Ambulance and Fire Fighter depots, the Nurses and Doctors in the local A&E departments, the Teachers who are looking after the children of Keyworkers, the local Police stations, Health Centres, and Chemists. Over the Easter weekend, they also managed to distribute 694 Easter eggs to families & residents in local hostels and front line workers.
Commenting on our donation and the impact it’s had, Ken Scott, the Foodbank Manager has said, “All of our activity would not be possible without the very generous support of BHSFand the donations of you the staff. So on behalf of our local community and the team at Bangor Foodbank thank you very much for organising and taking part in the Easter Egg-stravaganza, I can assure you all of the money raised will go straight to those most in need in the coming weeks, relieving the hardship COVID-19 is causing.”