The region’s biggest building society, which was one of a number of organisations who helped support Newcastle West End Foodbank, the UK’s largest foodbank throughout 2017, has plans to commit even more volunteers in 2018.
Newcastle Building Society’s colleagues supported Newcastle West End Foodbank with 51 days’ (357 hours) volunteering in 2017. From stacking and packing food boxes in the warehouse, and helping serve food in the collection centre, the Society’s colleagues have consistently chosen to commit their volunteering days to the foodbank. This year there are plans to do even more.
Newcastle West End Foodbank is the largest foodbank in the UK and helped more than 40,000 people last year. It is a part of the nationwide network of foodbanks supported by The Trussell Trust. It provides three days nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred.
The Trussell Trust recently announced that its network distributed more than 1.3 million three-day food supplies in the year to march, a 13% increase on the previous 12 months.
So far, more than 34 people from a number of departments across the building society have donated their volunteering days in 2018 to Newcastle West End Foodbank. The Society has committed up to four colleagues will volunteer there every other Tuesday.
Newcastle Building Society colleagues can use two paid days a year to benefit their local community. Colleagues give regular feedback on how they have benefited from the opportunities to work within their communities.
John McCrory, chief executive at Newcastle West End Foodbank, said: “I had the chance to meet some of the Newcastle Building Society colleagues who were working in the kitchen, it was fantastic to see people prepared to get involved and give something back to the community, rolling their sleeves up and getting stuck in.
“We depend on volunteers of all sorts helping out at the foodbank, they’re a lifeline to us. By having Newcastle Building Society come into the foodbank periodically is really invaluable. They help fill in those links in the chain of people who volunteer every week. We’re learning from the volunteers but I feel it’s also important for them to see this side of the community and see poverty at all stages.”