Childbase Partnership teams and families in 44-day nurseries have raised a staggering £165,615 in cash and 9267.95kgs in food donations to support the Trussell Trust in the face of record demand in 1,300 UK food bank centres during 2023.
“You are an extraordinary and passionate group who have far exceeded our expectations in this year-long partnership. Your legacy of fundraising, food donations and promoting awareness of the Trussell Trust will continue to make a difference going forward”, said Sophie Sharp, The Trussell Trust’s Corporate Partnership Manager at a presentation ceremony at the company’s headquarters.
Childbase Partnership Head of Charity and a Regional Director, Michelle Lockhart, congratulated Charity Representatives – one from each setting – and their nursery families for far exceeding the targets set. The food donations alone were the equivalent weight of two African elephants.
“We are always ambitious in our fund-raising but given the cost-of-living crisis these totals represent extraordinary effort and generosity. We are mindful that the need remains and while our focus as a company will be directed to a new charity of the year in 2024, I know we will all continue to do what we can to address food poverty.”
The Trussell Trust, which supports the largest network of food banks in the UK, reported a record 3 million emergency food parcels were provided during the year with over 1 million of these for children.
Childbase Partnership fund-raising activity included Snowdon climbing challenges, skydiving, sponsored walks and endless bake sales in all nurseries after over 2,000 plus employee owners adopted the charity for a year-long fund-raising and awareness drive in a company-wide vote.
Childbase Partnership Chairman and Founder, Mike Thompson, described the fundraising effort as phenomenal and a proud moment for the company before thanking colleagues and nursery parents for their commitment and generosity.
As well as raising £165,615.96 for The Trussell Trust throughout 2023 and donating 9267.95kgs of essential food and household items – the equivalent of two African elephants – Childbase colleagues offered their help in abundance to food banks across the country.
Using their paid Volunteer Day – a company benefit to all colleagues across the employee-owned business, Childbase staff were able to see first-hand how their financial aid and physical donations would benefit people within their communities, as well as get a better sense of the work the charity does and the importance of spreading awareness in nursery.
Sophie Darling, Team Leader at West Cambridge Day Nursery, was just one of the devoted colleagues who took time to visit her local food bank, here she shares her experience;
“I chose to use my Volunteer Day to go to the Cambridge City Foodbank, which is the main warehouse in the area, where boxes are packed for those in need and distributed out to smaller foodbanks across the city for families and individuals to collect. My main duties of the day were to pack up the emergency parcels using the checklists provided, with different specifications depending on the size of the family or different dietary needs, and checklists rotated to ensure each family would receive different essentials each week.
As part of my role I also had to keep the inventory of stock rotated to ensure items with a shorter shelf-life were being used first. Whilst at the warehouse I was shocked to see the sheer volume of items being donated which were already past their use-by date, which was really disheartening and an added task for the volunteers trying to put together parcels.
Whilst talking to the volunteers, I learnt that certain items were donated in large quantities, such as tinned tomatoes, beans and peas, whilst some other essentials were largely forgotten about, such as toilet roll and cooking oil. They also included treats in packages such as sweets and biscuits which was lovely to see, giving a lift to those receiving them.
I wasn’t able to talk to any members of the public about the impact the foodbank had on their lives as I was based in the warehouse, but I was able to speak to some of the hardworking staff and volunteers who gave me a better insight into how the charity operates and the different initiatives they have in place throughout the city to support families. This includes a ‘Fairbite’ shop in Cambridge, which offers people access to a selection of foods, usually surplus stock from supermarkets, for a small membership fee.
Unfortunately, the funding around this just isn’t enough, and I was really able to witness just how much The Trussell Trust appreciate and rely on companies like ours for fundraising and donations to help them support local people facing hardship. I found the experience incredibly humbling, and it certainly opened my eyes to how fortunate I am. I would recommend volunteering at a food bank to anyone and would do it again in a heartbeat.”
We prioritise the importance of outdoor play at Cedars Day Nursery in Leighton Buzzard. All children at our Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ nursery have access to our large, natural garden area on a daily basis as we recognise the impact that being outdoors has on a child’s social, emotional and physical development. The children enjoy planting vegetables and tasting their produce, served by our dedicated Nursery Chef.
Cedars Day Nursery, Mentmore Rd, Leighton Buzzard LU7 2PA
Tel: 01525 850200