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The West Brom supports local food banks with £34k donation

The West Bromwich Building Society has raised funds to support local food banks and provide much needed items to help the vulnerable in the local community.

Throughout December, the Society launched the ‘Big Shop’ initiative and encouraged colleagues to fundraise over the festive period to give much needed supplies to the food banks. Activities included virtual Zoom quizzes, virtual Bingo, a ‘Name the Bear competition’ and many donated the funds they would’ve spent in lieu of a Christmas party.

Colleagues raised a £4,200 donation, and a generous Society member donated a further £30k to help support the initiative which was close to their hearts. The total sum of £34,200 is being used to purchase food for the  local food banks; Wednesbury Breaking Bread, West Bromwich Foodbank and Black Country Foodbank, to help individuals and families who, through various circumstances, find themselves in crisis.

Keith Turner, Manager at the West Bromwich foodbank said: “With 2020 being a tough year for so many, the pandemic has left more people facing the harsh reality of living in poverty and relying on foodbanks to support themselves and their families. We rely mainly on the kind donations from sponsors such as the West Brom, and are incredibly grateful for their fundraising efforts. A little really does go a long way here, and the donation will enable us to provide food for 380 families over the next 6-8 weeks.”

The £34,200 donation has allowed the Society to order stock which will be equally distributed and delivered to all three foodbanks. The Black Country Foodbank, which has a much bigger operation, will allocate the supplies to a number of other local foodbanks, thus spreading more vital help to the wider communities.

As well as the ‘Big Shop’ initiative, the Society hosted a ‘Breakfast with Santa’ event to raise funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Hosted via Zoom, the Society’s Group Secretary, Neil Noakes, organised the event and members of the HR team and their family and friends, volunteered to act as Santa Clause and his team of Elves, to bring festive cheer to the children. The breakfast was available to the children of colleagues at the Society, and raised a further £450 to support the Play and recreation workers and facilitators at the hospital.

Jonathan Westhoff, the West Brom’s Chief Executive, said: “I am proud we have been able to support these local foodbanks at a time where demand is higher than ever. I was blown away by the generosity of our colleagues and members, especially as everyone has experienced some form of difficulty as a result of the pandemic. As a mutual, helping the communities in which we serve is part of our culture, and it’s always particularly satisfying to see everyone come together to do what they can to support those in need, especially during these uncertain times.”  

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