Businesses and project participants stepped up in between lockdowns to help support a charity which provides wrapped gifts to over 4000 local children who are at risk of not receiving any presents at Christmas. Despite having to rearrange all the wrapping sessions booked for November, eight member firms and Leicestershire Cares Projects took part. Rudi Parra-Watson, WIRE Project Development Office took 3 ex-offenders to a wrapping session. He said ‘They thoroughly enjoyed the Festive Challenge experience. It was an opportunity for them to give back to the community, gain confidence in the workplace, and add volunteering experience to their cv to become more employable. They also enjoyed getting to know each other, they developed a better understanding of TOTT and the importance of charitable work.’
Since 2015, the Community Development team have facilitated many wrapping sessions and to date have helped over 200 member-firm employees take part. That’s a massive 880 hours of volunteering in 6 years. Thank You to all.
Malcolm Clark, Chairman of Toys on the Table said ‘a great big thank you to everyone who has volunteered through Leicestershire Cares Festive Challenges this year. We weren’t sure we would be able to support the 4100 children who had been referred to us but with your help, we have completed this gigantic task. There are at least 500 extra children referred this year as a direct result of the pandemic so we are so grateful to all the businesses who have taken time out to help us.’
Future Community Development work
We are now in our third lockdown; however, this will not stop us from thinking creatively about how we can still reach out to the communities and still deliver such vital work through this pandemic. We are working in partnership with The Rank Foundation to reach out to BAME communities and research what we can do to support this area of work and have a better understanding. We have a new project ‘Community in Action’ which will be led by our Rank Time to Shine Leader. We have a third-year student placement from DMU to support our delivery of work, a project worker to link in the business members with the community and a new manager to ensure the vision is delivered. It is important to keep the connection between businesses and the community by strengthening our profile. We will enhance our delivery of podcasts, webinar’s, media coverage, cross networking with other projects within Leicestershire Cares and using our members skill set to develop new ways of working, ensuring our work is reaching new networks, links, and new organisations.
This is an exciting time but also a challenging one but again through sheer determination and working together anything is possible.
If you require any information about the project or to support what we do please contact:
Neetu Squire, Head of Community Development
0783 4181 041