WDH Award winner and Fujitsu employees help St Catherine’s prepare for worst winter in 65 years

The Church Centre Manager at St Catherine’s Emergency Food Store has donated £500 to the food bank after being named as a winner at the WDH’s Love Where You Live Awards, while Fujitsu employees joined food bank volunteers to raise a further £1,500 at Sainsbury's last Friday.

Lisa Grant with her First Prize certificate at the Awards ceremonyLisa Grant won the Good Neighbour category at the Awards ceremony last Thursday after more than 8,000 votes were cast for the winners across all the categories.

The image on the left shows Lisa with her first prize certificate - image thanks to WDH website.

She was nominated for the award after her work to provide a range of services to help relieve poverty in Wakefield and through her promotion of community involvement by creating a variety of clubs to help those suffering from loneliness, including a club for the elderly, a gardening club and a community choir.

Lisa was also one of the co-founders of St Catherine’s food bank and has delivered thousands of food parcels to those in need.

Love Where You Live Awards logo

Lisa said, “It’s amazing to win but it really is a team effort and I really can’t take the credit. I work with an amazing team of people.”

The aim of the Love Where You Live Awards are to recognise local heroes across Wakefield, awarding those who make a positive impact in the local community.

The winner of each category was given £500 to donate to the community group of their choice, and Lisa said, “The £500 will go towards our Emergency Food Store.”

The WDH Love Where You Live Awards ceremony

The image on the left shows the WDH Love Where You Live Awards ceremony - image thanks to WDH website.

WDH Chief Executive, Kevin Dodd, said, “Our Love Where You Live Awards have been a bigger and better success than ever before, with a record-breaking number of votes cast for people and groups who make Wakefield a wonderful place for everyone.

“It is important that we celebrate the hard work and dedication that these people put into making their neighbourhoods friendlier, safer and even more enjoyable places to be, and we hope that the £500 donations to their chosen community groups will go a long way to helping continue that work.”

Fujitsu employees helping at the bag pack

At the Awards ceremony last Thursday, £400 was also raised through a raffle which will be donated to local food banks, hopefully helping St Catherine’s further in preparation for what is predicted to be the worst winter since 1950.

Generous shoppers also raised £1,500 for the Emergency Food Store last Friday as the food bank’s volunteers were joined by Wakefield’s Fujitsu employees for another Sainsbury’s bag pack.

The shop on Ings Road hosted the day long fundraiser for the food bank and, with incredible amounts of support from Fujitsu, they were able to raise a huge amount of money to prepare for the upcoming winter.

Jonathan Williams, Project Coordinator at St Catherine’s, said, “Our food bank is pretty much run with less than half the personnel of most major city food banks and so, after Sainsbury’s very kindly named us their Charity of the Year, we knew we would need a great deal of support to take advantage of the bag packing opportunities they offered.”

St Catherine's Logo

For four years running, St Catherine’s has been named as the largest food bank in Wakefield and the Five Towns, but their limited number of staff adds enormous amounts of extra pressure during times of great need.

This year the food bank is set to provide over 50,000 meals made up of 41 tonnes of food, and they are predicting that 2016 will be even worse.

Jonathan praised long-time supporter of the charity and Fujitsu employee Caroline Carr with providing such a tremendous amount of support from the company.

Food bank volunteer pass and St Catherine's food bank leaflets

Caroline said, “I am personally very proud to be part of a team of 25 Fujitsu volunteers here today bag packing, helping to get donations for a very good cause.

“The shoppers today have been so very generous!

“I am also proud to be part of a company that takes responsibility to local communities very seriously as today we are all here on company time.

“I hope we can do another bag pack at Sainsbury’s closer to Christmas as today has been a lot of fun.”

St Catherine’s have organised two more bag packs to raise funds for the Emergency Food Store and are desperate for volunteers to help them at Sainsbury’s on Ings Road on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th December.

Jonathan Williams says, “If we don’t get enough support we’ll be forced to cancel at least one, which would be a huge shame.

“Over the winter period - which newspapers say will be the worst in 65 years - we fully expect to give out over 1,000 parcels. Missing out on these opportunities is something we can scarce afford.

“Even if someone could only spare one or two hours, we would be immensely grateful for their support.”

For more information on the food bank, or to volunteer, please contact Jonathan Williams by emailing: foodstore [at] stcatherines-wakefield.org.uk; or by calling: 01924 211130.

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