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OneFamily takes action against hunger in our local community

February 2023

Giving back to our local communities has always been a core part of who we are. Now, more than ever, they could use a helping hand.

With a rise in energy bills and food prices reaching a historic high, the cost-of-living crisis has meant many people are struggling to put food on the table.

As a mutual society, we're committed to taking action to help our communities. We’ve partnered with food banks and other charities in and around Brighton and Swindon, where two of our offices are based, to help those who are struggling to feed themselves and their families.

OneFamily's CEO, Teddy Nyahasha, strongly believes in the importance of giving back, especially at a time when more and more people are falling on hard times.

"The cost-of-living crisis has led to a rapid growth in the call on food banks and it’s devastating to see the impact of rising costs on the wellbeing of families with young children, the vulnerable and the infirm.

"Helping local people is very important to us – it’s been our focus for many years – so we’re pleased to support these organisations and their vital work."

Teddy Nyahasha, OneFamily CEO

As well as helping financially, our staff have been keen to offer hands-on, practical support.

OneFamily will be working to build partnerships with these charities and campaigns as, in the words of our CEO, "it’s not just about handing money over and believing the job is done."

"We’ll be investing time, practical support and advice that we hope will have a real impact on the lives of local people," said Teddy.

You can find out about all the ways we support our communities in our Inspiring Better Futures report.

Supporting our community in Brighton and Hove

In Brighton and Hove, where our head office is based, we've donated £2,000 to each of several charities doing vital work in the city:

The Brighton Food Bank, the BMCEP Centre and the Hangleton & West Blatchington Food Bank are all Brighton-based initiatives working hard to help provide food for people struggling to afford it.

"I want to express my gratitude and to highlight that donations such as these are hugely appreciated, helping us to feed over 70 adults and 50 children on a weekly basis, as well as providing them with other essentials such as toiletries."

Juliet Ssekitolko, Black and Minority Ethnic Community Partnership Centre

Andy Wolage of Hangleton & West Blatchington Food Bank also thanked us, and added: “It's clear that food poverty has increased dramatically over the last 10 years, and particularly in recent months.

"This donation will help us to provide emergency food parcels for those in need in our local area, paying for fresh fruit and vegetables and dairy produce, all things which are versatile and relatively inexpensive to cook."

Andy Wolage, Hangleton & West Blatchington Food Bank

As well as giving out food parcels to those who need them most, the Brighton & Hove Cost of Living Crisis Campaign helps the local community by providing fuel and food vouchers, as well as low energy items, such as electric blankets and slow cookers, to help people maintain their overall health and wellbeing.

"Money raised via our cost-of-living campaign is going to buy food and toiletries for projects in the Emergency Food Network, who feed people in need,"

"Sadly, we are seeing demand soar, from people who are reaching crisis with no food in their cupboards and often no electricity at home. Donations like this are a vital lifeline for families and individuals struggling this winter in Brighton and Hove.”

Helen Starr-Keddle, Brighton & Hove Cost of Living Crisis Campaign

Supporting our community in Swindon

Staff at our Swindon office wasted no time offering to help out at Swindon Food Collective (SFC). Members of the team used their volunteering days to share their skills and their own experience as well as to help sort food packages. We also donated £5,000 to the collective.

The SFC is an independent charity dedicated to helping people with financial struggles in Swindon and its surrounding area.

Every year, the SFC gathers and sorts over 5,000 kilos of food, donated by individuals, stores, churches and businesses, and packs it into emergency food parcels that are sent to their seven distribution centres.

“The donation from OneFamily is much appreciated and will go towards enabling the Swindon Food Collective to meet the ever-increasing demand for food for those people who are facing a crisis at this time," said Helen Gerrish, chairperson of SFC.

“Our mission is to reduce the impact of food poverty on people in the Swindon and district area and our aim is that no-one goes hungry unnecessarily. With this support we will rise to this challenge and work positively to help as many people as we can."

Helen Gerrish, Swindon Food Collective

How we are continuing to help

As part of our Inspiring Better Futures initiative, we strongly believe in giving back to our communities, which is why we are continuing to work with our charity partners in any way they might need us to.

Every OneFamily team member gets three days a year to volunteer for a charity or initiative in their community. So far, we’ve been doing ongoing work with our charity partners such as The Clock Tower Sanctuary, Spear, IntoUniversity, Team Domenica and our newest partner RedSTART.

We also provide hands-on support to other charities throughout the year, such as Off the Fence, the Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare, Stanmer Community Garden and many more.

You can find out about all the ways we support our communities in our Inspiring Better Futures report.

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