Thursday 17, December 2020

Nuneaton charities working with some of the town’s most isolated and vulnerable residents this Christmas have been given a helping hand by the Heart of England Co-operative Society.

The Society has shared out £5,000 between five local charities working with people in need – many of whom have been affected by the events of 2020, whether financially or in terms of being isolated from family and friends.

The money is part of a wider £25,000 shared across the Heart of England’s trading area of Coventry, Warwickshire, south Leicestershire and Northamptonshire to help the most vulnerable members of society over the festive period.

Nuneaton Foodbank, which works with some of those most in need in the area, received £2,000.

The money will help make up Christmas parcels for people using the four foodbank centres, and to provide food parcels which are part of the Foodbank’s annual ‘Toys and Christmas Food’ project, run in partnership with the Salvation Army.

David Stanier, who co-ordinates the foodbank, said the donation will help pay for Christmas treats including Christmas puddings, mince pies, biscuits and chocolates which many families normally miss out on due to lack of disposable income. The treats will be included as part of the Foodbank’s regular food parcels.

David also praised the support of the Society and its customers throughout the year.

He said: “People have been extremely generous and the work we do would not have been possible without organisations like the Co-op and its community. Thank you to all the members and customers who have given over the past year, and to the staff for working with us in managing the foodbank donation points and ensuring they are a success.”

Nuneaton Community Christmas Lunch Group received £1,000 to help vulnerable people on their own at Christmas, including the homeless, elderly and disabled.

Gailyn Groves, who co-ordinates the lunch group, said the money will be used to provide 100 Christmas meals – including a turkey or pork and stuffing roll, sausage roll, pork pie, chocolates and a slice of Christmas cake among other items – but in total will benefit 135 people on Christmas Day.

She said: “We will deliver 80 meals on Christmas Day and keep 20 back in case we have any walk-ins. But will also have 35 volunteers on the day, many of whom would otherwise be on their own. They will have a Christmas roll with turkey or pork and stuffing, a biscuit and a cup of tea.”

Doorway, a charity supporting 18 to 25-year-olds who are homeless or about to be made homeless, was awarded £1,000.

Carol Gallagher, Chief Executive Officer of Doorway, said: “It is brilliant that the Co-op is once again helping vulnerable young people supported by Doorway. This will go a long way to reducing the food poverty they often experience and will also give them a little extra over the Christmas period.”

A further £1,000 was divided equally between the Salvation Army, to help families in need in Nuneaton and the surrounding areas and Warwickshire Care Leavers, to help young adults who are starting to live their lives independently.

Jo Dyke, Community and Membership Adviser at the Heart of England Co-operative Society, said: “There are so many fantastic causes in Nuneaton and the surrounding area, working tirelessly to combat hunger and poverty and to help struggling families to feed their children, especially at Christmas.

“Poverty and hunger are among the issues which we know are close to the hearts of our members and customers who give so generously throughout the year. No-one should go without food and a few festive treats over Christmas, so we are delighted to support these fantastic causes who work so hard all year round to make life a little easier for people less fortunate than themselves.”

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