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Supporting local families in need at Christmas and beyond

The St Austell foodbank, which helps support local families in crisis, has seen more than 4,200kg of food collected by volunteers.

Staff from Ocean Housing are proud to have been part of this achievement. We have been fundraising and hosting food collection points in our offices, as well as taking part in food drives at nearby supermarkets.

“The foodbank team do such a fantastic job and we are proud to support where we can,” said Louise Brown, welfare adviser at Ocean Housing, who has been leading the initiative.

“We run monthly dress down days on the last Friday of each month, collecting £1 from anyone who wants to take part. So far the team has raised more than £330 since June, and we take this money to the Foodbank, which is then used to top up people’s electric keys.

“We have a number of food collection points around the office, which we donate three times a year. The last drop in September totalled 55.4kg, and the Christmas collection will be even bigger.”

Staff from Ocean Housing also took part in a food drive in St Austell Tesco at the end of November, helping to collect a total of 2,592.43kg of food across three days. This involved the team greeting shoppers on their way into the store, encouraging customers to buy an extra item of food whilst shopping, and donating it at the collection point on their way out.

A second food drive also took place at St Austell Asda, where some Ocean Housing staff helped to collect a further 1,675kg of food over two days.

Statistics from the Foodbank show one in five of the UK population live below the poverty line. The charity, run entirely by volunteers, gives a lifeline to families in need, by providing food packages with three days’ worth of nutritionally balanced meals to people in need.

“The team at Ocean are a glowing example of volunteers, donating not just food, but also their time and money,” – Jon Langford, St Austell Foodbank manager.

Jon Langford is St Austell’s Foodbank manager, which also covers areas around Roche and St Stephens. He has praised Ocean Housing for its support, saying: “The team at Ocean are a glowing example of volunteers, donating not just food, but also their time and money.

“They are stable and reliable supporters of the Foodbank, and an incredible group of people to work with. We have seen demand increase by around 15-20% this year, so their help has been very much appreciated.

“We are on track to deliver 4,000 food packages by the end of this year, which will positively impact around 1,200 children.”

Ocean Housing works closely with the Foodbank and other support organisations, such as the Department for Work and Pensions, Citizens Advice, and credit unions to help tenants who find themselves in financial crisis get back on track.

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