At Paramount, we believe it's really important to be active and give back to the local community. We purposefully do not choose a charity of the year, instead favouring to help and support as many different initiatives over the course of 12 months. However, there are a couple of charities we do support regularly - one of these being Brent Food Bank. We don't think it is right that there are people living in our community without enough food so we do everything we can to help Brent Food Bank collect essential goods.
Brent Food Bank, set up by The Trussell Trust, helps to combat poverty and deprivation in the West London borough. They have been doing amazing work to help people in crisis, and we are really happy to be raising money for them at this year's Agents Giving Day 2017. We thought we would give you a bit of background to learn more about the good cause.
The Foodbank is a project of The Trussell Trust (www.trusselltrust.org), a charity that works to combat hunger and poverty across the UK. People in crisis are referred by frontline professionals, and come to our foodbank to receive food donated by the local community. Today there are over 420 foodbanks serving their communities from almost 1400 centres across the country.
Brent Foodbank opened its doors to the community in March of 2011 and last year alone we saw a 61% increase in the numbers accessing the service. Over 3400 three day emergency food supplies were given out to members of the community (compared to 2101 during the same period of the previous year), of those helped 953 food supplies went to children.
Brent has a very high level of deprivation and is home to the three most deprived wards in the country. It is currently the 10th most deprived borough in London and the most deprived west London borough. It has the 35th highest level of child poverty in London (out of the 32 boroughs in the capital). The sad reality is that many families in Brent are caught in the poverty trap and are having to choose between whether they feed their families, clothe themselves or heat their homes.
Our aim is to minimise and eventually eradicate poverty in the borough by not only providing people with a food parcels containing three days-worth of nutritionally-balanced food but also to provide additional help through our More Than Food Projects which serves to hasten the process to returning people to a position where they are no longer reliant on foodbanks or the state for support.
But why do we feel so strongly about our local food bank? Here's what our staff have to say...
“Having spent my formative years in the area, it's been a wonderful opportunity to be involved with the food bank, reconnecting with an area very close to my heart. It's been both humbling and rewarding. I've been very lucky to meet some great people along the way, both the incredible volunteers and those who rely on food parcels on a weekly basis, their stories are upsetting but often very inspiring.” - Spencer Lawrence, MD Lettings
"I've been involved with charities for many years now, having come from working in a charity myself. I believe one of the most important things to remember is to have fun. I want my team to enjoy whatever mad idea we come up with next, to get engaged in the process and during this time they learn a little bit about some amazing people and organisations. This Agent's Giving Day we will be doing a London themed pub quiz and I can't want to experience my colleagues competetive spirits and to help our local food bank!" - Kyla Irwin-Williams, Business Development Manager
We have previously collected funds on behalf of the food bank, and acted as a drop-off point so people in the local area can deliver non-perishable goods.
Look out on our social media channels for our fund raising activities in the following week!