Staffordshire Fire and Rescue play leading role in thousands of lockdown donations

More than 38,000 people have benefited from donations sourced and co-ordinated by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service during the Covid-19 lockdown.

We really imagined that the trolley would bring a smile to many childrens’ faces

Kevin Chell, Fire Safety Officer

The service has sourced and distributed donations worth more than £250,000 in ten weeks - this total now stands at £280,684 up to the 16th July.

A number of schools, care homes, charities and foodbanks across the county have been benefactors of these donations, which have come in the form of more than 99,000 meals, 287,200 lunch packs and 12,494 food parcels.

Director of Community Safety at SFARS, Howard Watts said: “I’m incredibly proud of the work our staff has put in to supporting our communities during this unprecedented lockdown and I think what we have seen over these past few months is how important it is for people to stick and work together during difficult times.

“Although we have sourced and orchestrated these donations we could not have achieved the results we have without the support of local and national partners and we want to thank each and every one of them for the part they’ve played in supporting us in our mission to keep our communities stocked up and supported.

“A special thanks to the benefactors, who all helped in the distribution of many of these items. They – along with many other organisations – have been great supporters of our goal to help the people within our communities safe and well.”

Managing Director of Leek based, Ornua Foods, Bill Hunter said: “Our relationship with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has been invaluable in helping to support the community during the Coronavirus emergency.  Thanks to the hard work and enthusiasm of the staff from both Ornua and Staffordshire Fire we have managed to distribute over 8000 packs of cheese to a range of charities and community initiatives as well as directly to NHS front line staff.”

Managing Director at Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK, Jim Crosbie, said: “I consider it a privilege to be able to give something back to Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service for the tireless work they carry out.  When the Civil Contingency Unit sent out the request for PPE, our employees were more than happy to support.  Toyota places the community at the heart of our activities and it’s only natural that we should provide our time, knowledge or resources to serve our local communities.”

NCASS Director Mark Laurie said: “Just a huge thank you to everyone that worked to protect the most vulnerable in our society during such desperate and challenging times. I think you guys are amazing, unsung heroes, but heroes nonetheless.”

Head of Demand and Logistics at Muller, Jo Ryan said: “I am so pleased that our Müller yogurt and desserts products have been so gratefully received by Staffordshire Food Banks and hospitals. Supporting our key workers and people in need through these unprecedented times is of most importance to us and we are proud to have been able to make these donations.”

General Manager at Fox’s Biscuits in Uttoxeter, Kevin Hand said: “We wanted to show our support for deserving local causes so we donated our delicious Rocky bars to the Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and the wider Local Resilience Forum who support Unitas, a charity that helps the most vulnerable throughout Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent.”

Sales Operation Manager at Cottage Delight, Samantha Giblin said: “Cottage Delight were happy to be supporting our brave local keyworkers throughout this pandemic. Hopefully our sweet treats and savoury delights were able to provide some much needed joy and happiness.”

Executive Chef for JCB Hospitality, Alastair Rowe said: “JCB is delighted to have been able to work with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and the wider Local Resilience Forum to support our local community throughout the pandemic. We are proud to have provided nutritious meals on a daily basis for both our most vulnerable citizens and for local NHS and keyworkers.”

Managing Director of Nestle Profession UK and Ireland, Katya Symonds said: “We’re really pleased to be able to support in any way we can and hope that our Nestlé Easter Eggs have gone some way to showing our appreciation for all the hard work currently taking place in Staffordshire.”

Customer Service Team Leader at Warburtons, Faye Downes said: “We are pleased to be able to help where we can, and hope that our donations have gone some way to support our communities through these difficult times, from our family to yours.”

Managing Director of Eurostar Global, Peter Carnall said: “Supporting our heroic front line services locally is a tiny gesture compared to the sacrifices and struggles endured by many amazing people who have provided us selflessly with their services and care across multiple sectors during these last 14 weeks and ongoing while we continue to defeat this virus. Eurostar Global was privileged to support local shortages of PPE with a donation of face masks and wishes to thank each and every person that benefited for their amazing work.”

Director of Unitas, Steve Wilson said: “During the Covid 19 crisis we have been working in close partnership with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and want to say a huge thank you to them for sourcing and co-ordinating weekly donations. All of these goods have been delivered to local groups and residents within Stoke on Trent and we are very grateful for this help and assistance.”

The donations we’ve helped bring together have benefited a wide range of local organisations, including the Douglas Macmillan Hospice, the Royal Stoke Hospital and a number of local care homes.

CEO at the Douglas Macmillan Hospice, David Webster said: “At Dougie Mac we are constantly astounded and humbled by the generosity and kindness shown by local people and local organisations toward our hospice. During the Covid19 pandemic our staff were delighted to receive some fantastic treats such as trifles, yoghurts, chocolate eggs and even delicious cheeses from Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service. These donated items certainly stimulated our taste-buds but in addition the thoughtfulness behind such gestures of support reminded all of us that the care we provide here at Dougie Mac is really appreciated in our local community, Thank you.”

Manager of University Hospitals of North Midlands Charity, Steve Rushton said: “On behalf of everyone at University Hospitals of North Midlands, I’d like to say a big thank you to Staffordshire Fire and Rescue for their incredibly kind and continued support of our staff. We are working hard to make sure all our hardworking frontline staff are supported with not only essential items, but donations like this which are beneficial to their wellbeing and a boost for morale.”  

Community Organiser for Stafford based County Stores, Eileen Jordan said: “We would just like to say a massive thank you to Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service for our amazing donations of food during the months of the lockdown. These donations have helped thousands of individuals and organisations from all over Stafford and the surrounding area. We are so appreciative of everything you have done for us and enabling us to continue the work we are involved in. You have never wavered in your commitment to support and guide us through these difficult are all amazing and have done a wonderful job...thank you so much!”

Manager at Elizabeth House Rest Home in Werrington and Wall Hill Care Home in Leek, Rupal Patel said: “The donation reflects the continued support that we have been receiving from the community and your donation is a significant contribution both from yourselves and the benefactors to our Care Home. The donations of cheese and milkshakes have been very much appreciated by ALL of our residents and staff. Your excessive generosity has meant that we have been able to distribute widely to our staff members.”

Care Manager at Wetley Manor Care Home in Wetley Rocks, Diane Rushton said: “Thank you so much for the cheese and butter that was kindly gifted. Our residents thoroughly enjoyed them and said the oatcakes garnished with your cheese tasted better than ever. Our staff thought the gesture was very thoughtful and it helped boost their morale during these difficult times!”

Administrator at Ernvale House Care Centre in Cheddleton, Sandra Spedding said: “We were so overwhelmed by the donations received from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and the LRF. It made us feel appreciated as key workers whilst we were working hard to protect our wonderful family in the care home. We all have had some splendid Ornua cheese and butter hosting cheese and grape parties with our residents on all of the units. It made some of the hard weeks we have had seem better knowing that there are people that care about us and support us in any way that they can.”

Deputy Manager at Beech Dene Residential Care Home in Leek, Julie Hambleton said: “I am thanking you and all concerned for all the goods we received at Beech Dene. It was very much appreciated by all. We spent time with our residents talking about the Fire and Rescue Service and the help you are giving to people during the pandemic, including delivering products to key workers.”

Community Business Partner at The Hub Foundation in Burslem, Adam Yates said: "We cannot express how grateful we are for the support provided by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and the LRF. It’s contributed to us delivering over 75,000 meals since lockdown to the most vulnerable families in our city. Thank you."

Operations Manager at Abbey Court Care Home in Leek, Richard Lawson said: “As traumatic and heart breaking as the pandemic has been, there have been some outstanding moments of positivity and relief. Staffordshire Fire and Rescue have certainly provided some of those moments with their recent weekly donations and deliveries of dairy products. The team here, in common with many other thousands across the country, have experienced weeks of extreme challenge and demand, both professionally and personally. They have responded with the same immense levels of dedication and achievement. Receiving these treats has made the most amazing difference to them. They feel respected, valued and remembered – it’s a gesture that could not have been better judged, or more appreciated so thank you!”

Administrator at Ladydale Residential Care Home in Leek, Tracey Buxton said: “Thank you to Staffordshire Fire and Rescue for all the wonderful donations that we have received at Ladydale over the past few weeks. Our residents and staff have greatly appreciated your generosity at this difficult time. It has been amazing to have been recognised and lovely to know that people are thinking about us.”