Boxes of kindness will mean the world to Walsall families this winter
21st December 2020
Walsall Council, whg and community networks have teamed up this Christmas to fund, pack and deliver more than 1,500 kindness boxes to some of Walsall’s most vulnerable residents.
The programme has been powered by £1,134,745 sourced from the government’s COVID-19 Winter Grant scheme.
Over the winter period, the grant will help support vulnerable people in Walsall, many of whom have been impacted by COVID-19.
whg is also on board with the project after securing an additional £100,000 of funds through a Barclays bank COVID-19 Community Aid Package.
As part of the project, a production line of volunteers have been working at Sneyd Community Association to pack and stack 1,500 boxes of food, blankets, toiletries and children’s gifts.
A wider whg and council partnership includes direct work with NHS staff to help support the vulnerable and elderly that are discharged from hospital over the winter period. This vital work to protect some of Walsall’s most vulnerable people has already prompted a huge community response. In one day alone, whg received a delivery of 29 industrial size pallets, 23 of them rammed with food and toiletries, while others were piled high with toys.
The government’s Winter Grant Scheme, which has recently gone live on the Walsall Council’s website, is also supporting those eligible and in need with payments towards food, energy and water bills – as well as items such as warm clothing, bedding and Christmas toys for children. At least 80% of the total funding will be ring-fenced to support households with children, with up to 20% of the total funding to other households experiencing or at risk of experiencing, poverty during the pandemic.
Julie Haywood, Director of Community Investment at whg, said: “Christmas should be a time of happiness, but for far too many it is the season of additional money worries and isolation. whg’s Kindness Initiative is just one small way we are helping households who have struggled during this challenging year. By working with the council, we have been able to pool our resources and share the spirit of Christmas with communities across Walsall.
“Through the Kindness Initiative, nearly 1,200 gift parcels have been delivered to families in Walsall, including 300 gift vouchers. whg will also be making 600 food deliveries to customers throughout the Christmas period.”
Councillor Garry Perry, deputy leader for resilient communities at Walsall Council said: “2020 has been a long, hard year for so many and we want children and families to know that the council can help, along with the council’s Money Home Job team, I applaud whg and our community partners as they continue to identify and prioritise support.
“In the run-up to the festive period this structured response, and wider community and council support will truly make a difference to many families over the winter period. These are local boxes of kindness that will help brighten lives.”
Councillor Stephen Craddock, Walsall Council’s portfolio holder for health and wellbeing said: “As we head into winter and the festive season, the new COVID Winter Grant Scheme will be greatly received by some of the borough’s most vulnerable residents. We want the scheme to be available to our hardest-hit residents so it is readily available to help pay for food, utility bills and essential supplies between December and March 2021.”
Walsall Police and Walsall Fire Services have also kindly contributed to the winter grant scheme by providing food and toiletries.
Chief Superintendent Andy Parsons, from Walsall police, said: “We’re thrilled to have been able to support the COVID Winter Grant scheme. It’s so important, especially at Christmas, to be able to share with those who are in need.
“The scheme is fantastic and is helping many vulnerable people within our communities. It’s great that we’ve been able to get involved and offer our support by donating items we know will mean a lot to the people who receive them.”