Big-hearted National Grid employees in Hinckley and Leicester have been hitting the shops this Christmas to provide a little festive cheer to some of the county's most vulnerable residents.
Staff at the Hinckley Operations Centre, in Brick Kiln Lane, Hinckley, and Leicester Data Hall, Regent Road, Leicester, have been donating food, warm clothing, bedding and other daily living essentials to charity Leicestershire Cares' Collect 4 Christmas campaign. Employees dug deep and donated an additional £1,000 in cash, which is being matched by National Grid to give the charity £2,000.
Leicestershire Cares is passing the donated items on to Loughborough-based charity The Bridge and STAR (Supporting Tenants and Residents) operated by Leicester City Council. They in turn will distribute packages to homeless and vulnerable clients as they move into their first home – properties with little or no basics and belongings. The cash raised will be used to buy additional items, such as duvets and cooking utensils.
'We promoted the Collect 4 Christmas campaign with announcements in our in-house publications and by word of mouth at our Hinckley and Leicester offices,' said Jacinta Fox of National Grid, 'and, as always, the response was tremendous. Donations of all types of useful items and food started to roll in straightaway, and many colleagues also gave cash.'
Two Samosa Drive events, organised by Hinckley's Stuart Sayles, helped swell the coffers with employees tucking into the delicious homemade pastries.
Jacinta added: 'We were delighted when National Grid provided match funding for the money we had raised, in line with its ongoing commitment to supporting worthwhile causes in the communities where it operates.'
National Grid, together with other businesses, contributed a total of 500 starter packs, worth more than £18,000, to Collect 4 Christmas – the largest ever amount raised by the campaign since it started in 2000.
Katharine Lightbown of Leicestershire Cares said: 'We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the National Grid employees and their support for this year's appeal. Every single item donated will make a significant difference to people facing hardship.'
Employees at the National Grid offices in Hinckley and Leicester have been contributing to Leicestershire Cares' annual Collect 4 Christmas campaign for many years. This year's donations, however, exceed those made in any previous year, and the employees are planning to do even better next Christmas!