Three charities, Age UK, Cash for Kids and Social Bite, are set to receive a share of £150,000 thanks to ScottishPower employees.
This year has been a hard one for so many and, while Christmas celebrations are set to look very different from normal, the gift of giving has never been more important.
To mark the festive season, ScottishPower asked its employees to help them choose three charities to receive £50,000 each. The donation recognises the hard work of ScottishPower employees throughout this year and will help each charity in their work to provide support to some of those most effected the pandemic across the UK.
Melanie Hill, Director, Social Projects and Sector Education, at ScottishPower said: “It’s hard to understate how tough this year has been for charities and we wanted to do something to help.
“Our normal fundraising events are so important to us, not just because they raise funds for charities close to our employee’s hearts, they also help bring our employees together and light up the offices.
“We wanted to provide a little bit of that joy this Christmas by providing a donation our employees can be proud of to three charities close to their hearts. We hope that these donations can go some way in helping them to continue their amazing work and we are really pleased to be able to make this donation to them.”
And their work is truly amazing. Social Bite is on a mission to end homelessness and the £50,000 is expected to significantly help them distribute 250,000 meals and essential items in Scotland and throughout the UK over Christmas and the winter months.
Josh LittleJohn MBE, Co-Founder at Social Bite said: “We are incredibly grateful for ScottishPower’s contribution to our Christmas campaign, the Festival of Kindness. Christmas is going to be strange this year for all of us. But for homeless people and vulnerable families, the pandemic has made their situation particularly desperate.
“This generous donation will provide a real lifeline of food, essential items and emergency shelter to people experiencing homelessness and food poverty this winter. ScottishPower’s support encapsulates what this movement is all about; coming together to spread kindness and make a tangible difference to those who need it most.”
Cash For Kids works with thousands of grass-root organisations across the UK who support disadvantaged children. The money donated by ScottishPower will help with their Mission Christmas appeal which works closely with social workers, head teachers and the emergency services who will nominate families in crisis to be supported by the appeal.
Cash for Kids Managing Director Sally Aitchison MBE said: “This year is going to be particularly tough for many families across the UK. Mission Christmas is a brilliant way for people to act in the true spirit of the season and give a little something to lift the spirits of disadvantaged young people who really do deserve it.”
“Last year our supporters really demonstrated their generosity and it was truly amazing what we achieved. This year there have been so many examples of the community pulling together to support everyone and I know that it will be even better than ever before.”
“It’s easy to take part, all you need to do is buy one extra gift before December 18th and hand it in to one of our collection points, alternatively you can text ‘MISSION’ to 70910 to donate £10 and we will buy a gift on your behalf. Let’s make 2020’s Mission Christmas our biggest and best ever and bring some Christmas cheer to the children who need it most.”
Age UK is the national charity supporting older people who are most in need. The donation from ScottishPower will go towards Age UK’s Christmas fundraising campaign, No one should have no one, and will help the Charity continue to be there with vital friendship services, advice and practical help for older people - when there’s no one else to turn to.
Hannorah Lee, Director of Partnerships at Age UK, said: “Older people have been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic – physically, mentally and emotionally. For too many older people this festive season will be their loneliest in living memory: almost two million older people are expecting to feel lonely this Christmas1. This is why were so grateful to ScottishPower for this generous donation.
“Age UK has seen a huge surge in demand for our services this year and it’s only thanks to supporters like ScottishPower and their employees that we can be here for every older person who needs us. Our free and confidential Advice Line is open 365 days of the year – including Christmas Day and through our Telephone Friendship Service we are making weekly friendship calls to thousands of older people – for many this is their only meaningful conversation all week – the only time anyone asks ‘how are you?’ If you would like to donate to Age UK’s Christmas campaign please visit the Age UK website.
ScottishPower employees have also made direct contributions to help people this Christmas, by taking part in the company’s annual food drive – even with the majority of staff working from home.
Employees contributed almost £4,000 to the ‘ScottishPower Winter Shopping List’, with a tally of 1,400 items donated to over 50 foodbanks between 17th November - 4th December as well as donations made at supermarkets across the country. An additional donation of £6,000 was also made to the Trussell Trust, which supports a nationwide network of food banks and provides emergency food and support to people locked in poverty.
Melanie added: “Our colleagues never fail to rise to the challenge and we’re very proud their efforts will help people from Drumchapel to Ipswich, Leicester to Helensburgh at a time when more and more families are having to rely on foodbanks to cover their basic needs.
“I know these collective efforts to support our chosen charities and our communities will make a real difference to those who need it most and we hope it makes things that bit easier this Christmas.”
1Age UK calculation based on data from Yonder online and telephone omnibus research polling for Age UK, November 2020 (sample of 2264 people aged 65+ in the UK) scaled up to the age 65+ population of the UK from ONS mid-year 2019 population estimates (published June 2020). 16% of people surveyed answered either ‘slightly agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ when asked: ‘To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements?’ - 'I'm expecting to feel lonely this Christmas’