‘NO ONE GOES HUNGRY’ is the vital message behind a Nottinghamshire Christmas appeal, renewed for 2023 by local charity Switch Up.
The Switch Up Community Appeal has become a firm fixture in the organisation’s calendar, ensuring Nottinghamshire’s most vulnerable individuals and families get the helping hand they need during the harsh winter months.
Nottinghamshire businesses, as well as the city’s residents, are being asked to pull together, dig deep and forgo the thousands spent on corporate gifts to help make Christmas a little brighter for local communities.
From 1 December to 31 January, Switch Up will be collecting financial contributions to send much-needed food deliveries to the families it supports across Nottingham. As well as those already on its database, it will be working with other city organisations to find and support those that fall between the gaps as they are not eligible for food banks but still need help.
Last year Switch Up distributed 371 food parcels, supporting 163 families across Nottinghamshire. The team also distributed 225 books donated by Nottingham City of Literature, and 100 gingerbread houses, donated by TTK Confectionary.
Dr Marcellus Baz BEM, Switch Up CEO and founder, said: “Our communities continue to suffer with the challenges posed by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. People who were just about surviving are now really struggling.
“Our main goal this year is to collect cash donations. This will boost our efficiency and make the most of our limited resources by removing the need to gather and sort donations. We can instead get food sent directly to the doorsteps of those that need it most.
“I would urge any businesses to consider a donation to an appeal such as ours this year, rather than purchasing corporate gifts. The impact to our community would be massive and it could gain a few social value or ESG points too.”
For many Nottinghamshire households, this festive season will be particularly hard. The rising cost of living means it is a struggle for many to afford basic supplies and food, let alone celebrate with treats, gifts and a Christmas dinner.
In June 2023 the Trussell Trust published a report on Hunger in the UK. The report examined the causes of hunger in the UK, its impact and what type of people use food banks.
The findings showed 69% of people referred to food banks in the Trussell Trust are disabled, compared to 26% across the general population. Working age people are overrepresented among those referred to food banks in the network. The majority of people (89%) referred to food banks in the network are in receipt of means tested benefits and 46% of people referred to food banks in the network live in social housing.
Baz added: “Switch Up is always evolving and looking at ways to enhance our support and ensure we reach the people who really need us. Families are often referred to us by other organisations, but we can also signpost to relevant support too – it’s all about collaboration. The main thing is establishing the need, and the best action to take.
“The additional barriers that people encounter cannot be underestimated either, whether that is age, language, or physical ability. We want to reach everyone, and we can only do that with the backing of our great city and county. It only takes a few minutes to donate – less time than eating a mince pie! A food parcel for a family of four costs around £35 – and every donation counts.”
For anyone wishing to donate, please visit its secure donation page. Alternatively, please contact Kirsty.Kelly@switch-up.org.uk for support in making your donation and to ensure 100% of your money goes direct to the appeal.
For more information on Switch Up visit https://www.marcellusbaz.co.uk.