Waterman’s Christmas campaign to spread the cheer this holiday
According to the charity Shelter, there are an estimated 320,000 homeless people currently living in the UK. Combined with a 380% increase in homelessness in Ireland since October 2014, Focus Ireland revealed that 10,514 people across the week of October 21 – 27 October 2019 were sleeping rough.
To help support homeless charities across the UK and Ireland, Waterman staff from all parts of our business are taking part in our charitable campaign.
In Bristol, 82 people slept rough on the streets each night this year. Following their participation in the annual Bristol Dragon Boat Festival earlier in the year, Waterman’s team in the city centre have been continuing their support for Caring in Bristol, an organisation which reaches out to anyone experiencing or at risk of homelessness through the collection of essential food, drink and clothing donations. Each year, the charity operates their Caring at Christmas project to provide shelter, food and an abundance of emotional and medical support for those experiencing homelessness at this incredibly difficult time of year.
85 miles away in Birmingham, our team were also in action through their month-long collection of new or unused clothing, food and toiletries for SIFA Fireside, a local charity who are focussed on improving the wellness and inclusion for homeless people around the city. So far, the team have gathered over £600 worth of donations to help the wide range of support services available at the charity’s drop-in centre, allowing homeless and vulnerable people to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives through the provision of over 3,000 warm meals, 100 clean clothing parcels, 400 showers and various physical and mental health services each month.
This year our London office hosted their annual Gift Collection Box as part of Better Bankside’s Together at Christmas campaign which supports over 2,000 homeless, vulnerable and elderly people in London’s Bankside and Southwark areas. Thanks to our staff’s generous contributions and support, each year we collectively provide over 100 gifts which are distributed to various local charities across the borough.
With the considerable rise in homelessness, there is mounting pressure being placed on local food banks, with approx. 14 million people across the country now living in poverty. A staggering 4.5 million of these are children. Wanting to make a difference this year, staff in our Nottingham office decided to forego their annual £5 per person Secret Santa presents, instead using the combined £130 to buy a wealth of food, toiletries, nappies and cuddly toys for their local food bank in Sneinton, managed by The Trussell Trust. They also created their own ‘Reverse Advent Calendar’, filling a box with one seasonal goody every day, before hand-delivering the items to the food bank in Arnold.
From their 1,200 food banks, the Trust aims to end hunger in the UK by providing emergency food and support to people locked in poverty. Thanks to donations such as those provided by our team in Nottingham, they’ve been able to provide 1.6 million food supplies to people in crisis over the last year.
Alongside the need for warm food and clothing throughout the winter months, December should also be a time of pure joy for children as they open their presents on Christmas morning. However, Christmas can also put a financial strain on families who are already struggling and often can’t afford to put a gift under the tree. In a bid to ‘make a child smile’ this Christmas, staff in our Perth office donated £100 towards Cash for Kids, a network of local charities which operates across 22 radio stations to support disabled, poverty stricken or neglected children aged 0-18 by sending them a present over the festive season.
Crossing the Irish Sea, our team in Dublin organised a Giving Tree as part of the Society of St Vincent De Paul’s Christmas toy appeal, collecting toys and gift vouchers for a range of children and adults who would otherwise not receive a gift over Christmas.
Finally, on Friday 13 December, Waterman staff across the regions donned their festive sweaters to take part in the annual Christmas Jumper Day campaign, raising money to support their local charities and Save the Children.
Nick Taylor, Waterman’s CEO, commented; “Each donation has provided some form of comfort towards a person or family in need in one of the hardest months of the year. We are proud to see so many of our staff wanting to make a change, but most importantly we look forward to the day when these donations are no longer needed.”