Connecting local businesses to opportunities to support the local community

In 2018 the Volunteer Centre was approached by staff from the Stourbridge branch
of Yorkshire Building Society, seeking an opportunity to do an activity which
supported the local community. A team challenge was arranged with Beacon Centre
for the Blind and the staff enjoyed it so much that they got in touch again to find
something different for 2019.

After taking on a practical challenge painting and decorating in 2018, they were
seeking something different. The Volunteer Centre suggested Loaves and Fishes,
who had recently relocated to Provision House on Dudley High Street, as there was
a range of potential roles the branch staff could support with. As they are a small
team they broke down into three teams of two over three separate days and spent
their time sorting and labelling donations of clothes, and household goods, which
would be passed on to local people who were struggling.

 

We asked the team from Yorkshire Building Society for some feedback to
see if they had enjoyed the experience.

Loaves and Fishes are a Charity working within local communities (Sandwell, Dudley and parts of Wolverhampton) to help alleviate poverty. Here’s what they do:

  • Furnish properties for people in need, who are usually in a crisis situation.
    Circumstances may be homeless, recently released from prison, ladies
    refuge, asylum seeker, refugee, supported housing.
  • Have a foodbank, clothing voucher scheme for use in our shop.
  •  Keep tents, sleeping bags and have homeless packs i.e. torch, flask, toiletries
    underwear food.
  • provide work placements and work experience for year 10 school children,
    special needs children primarily the Westminster School Rowley Regis,
    foreign exchange students, unemployed and support work programmes for
    Nova, Nacro, Juniper Training, Steps to Work, Job Centres, Dudley Disability
    service, Creative Support, Halesowen College.

 

We had some lovely feedback from Kim who manages the volunteers at Loaves and
Fishes.

“The YBS team worked in the sorting room, distributing donations to appropriate areas i.e. shop, items for clients (people we help) items to be disposed of. Sorting clothes donations into shop stock or rag which we then sell. Sorting through clothing stock to store in relevant seasons i.e. summer, winter, autumn, children’s, ladies, men’s. Contributing to visual displays within the shop.”

“I was extremely grateful for the help we received over the 3 days. The staff completed a vast amount of work, sorting clothing stock into gender and seasons, which is a massive help to the shop staff when they need to replenish stock. All the staff were friendly, integrated themselves into our workforce and workplace.”

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