charity

Jordan KensingtonJordan KensingtonDecember 22, 2017
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Last week , I joined the Greg Secker Foundation and the Salvation Army in Wandsworth as we took part in  delivering gifts to local residents and children in need. With millions of UK children facing a Christmas in poverty this year, social development charity, the Greg Secker Foundation, has joined other businesses in the UK to help the Salvation Army support the Basket Brigade initiative.

Since 2012, the Greg Secker Foundation has partnered with Learn to Trade in an alternative Christmas party they call the “Basket Brigade”.  Greg Secker and his employees use the opportunity to come together, and work with the Salvation Army to provide food hampers and Christmas presents to families who struggle to put food on the table at Christmas.

 

With changes to Universal Credit and Child Benefit coming into effect this year, 1 in 3 children under 16 are now believed to be living in poverty in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.A community particularly feeling the impact of these welfare reforms is the London Borough of Wandsworth and this happens to be one of my favourite banners since that’s I was born in St. Georges Hospital which is located in the Borough. According to research, Wandsworth’s foodbank has distributed 42 tonnes of emergency food and goods from its five foodbank centres between 2016-17 – an increase of 31% on the previous year. And, according to Lieutenant Katy Shubotham from the Salvation Army the number of families needing support over Christmas this year has almost doubled in the London Borough.

 

Last year The Greg Secker Foundation worked with the Salvation Army to create 76 baskets for families. Yesterday the team packed 100 baskets to provide Christmas day essentials for 323 people and presents for 179 children in Wandsworth. You’ll find images from the packing floor yesterday available here.  

 

“While most of us spend the next 10 days frantically preparing for a Christmas day feast, there are millions of families in the UK going hungry; worried about how they’ll get together enough money to put food on the table,” says Lieutenant Katy Shubotham from The Salvation Army. “Every year there is a greater need for the Basket Brigade programme, and every year I am absolutely blown away by the generosity we receive from the community and local businesses.”

 Dean Russell, Independent Advisor at The Greg Secker Foundation adds: “We’ve been running the Basket Brigade initiative since 2012, and working with the Salvation Army in Wandsworth for two years now. Seeing the difference everyday items that most of us take for granted can have for these families makes it all worthwhile, it really helps spreads some joy over the Christmas period. If more businesses dedicated employee time, business profits and resources to giving back to their local community, families up and down the country would benefit.”

 Katy continues: “Those living in poverty should not have to just ‘get by’ at Christmas, they deserve to experience joy. With the continued support of the Greg Secker Foundation we have been able to make Christmas a little brighter for over 100 families in Wandsworth. If we had the resources of a foundation in every Borough offering the same amount of generosity, Christmas would be a happier, more celebrated occasion for millions of families in the UK.”

 


Jeff ArmstrongJeff ArmstrongNovember 17, 2017
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On Friday 15th December the vocal cords of guests and their dogs will be harmonising to raise much needed pounds for homeless hounds. The first ever Dogs Trust carol concert, held at St Paul’s Church in Knightsbridge, will be raising awareness, and money, for dogs and their owners who are either homeless or in housing crisis.

Dogs Trust’s Hope Project has helped thousands of dogs and their owners with the costs of veterinary care and by encouraging more hostels and homeless organisations to accept dogs. Now in its 22nd year the Hope Project has grown from one solitary veterinary clinic in London to a nation-wide scheme offering help and support to homeless people and their dogs.

Says Clare Kivlehan, Head of Dogs Trust Outreach Projects:

“Every year we send out Christmas hampers for dogs and their owners who are experiencing housing crisis and this year we are set to send more than ever. This increase is reflective of the growing number of people who find themselves experiencing housing crisis. For those who have a four-legged best friend, the challenge to find a way out is even harder. With more people than ever to help we are incredibly grateful to St Paul’s Church for hosting us, and raising awareness and money for the Hope Project.”

The Hope project has worked tirelessly to provide support to dogs and their owners across the UK, as Clare explains:

We have worked hard to establish a network of homeless organisations across the country that accepts dogs and gets them and their owners off the streets, and we know that this has made a huge difference to the lives of many homeless dog owners. Since the project started in 1995 we have been able to help hundreds of dogs and their owners and we’re hoping that the pounds raised from our first ever carol concert will help us make an even bigger impact.”

The concert will be followed by drinks and festive nibbles in the courtyard and tickets are priced at £35 for adults, £10 for children and can be purchased from www.dogstrust.org.uk/carolconcert. Guest speakers on the night will include Nicolas Parsons, Freddie Fox and Robert Powell who will be delivering some Christmas readings.

To find out more about the Hope Project please visit www.moretodogstrust.org.uk.



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