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Making An Incredible Impact This Christmas

Family businesses are undoubtedly a force for good and our 2023 charity campaign is coming to a close.

Sharing food and nourishing others is one of the simplest, most powerful ways of showing we care and we asked the family business community to come together as one to help us work with organisations across the UK to redistribute food to grassroots communities that help to feed some of the most deserving and vulnerable people across the UK.

Food is something that brings people together and over which memories are created, businesses discussed and plans nurtured. How often do we hear stories of how the business was always the focus of conversations around the kitchen table, the heart of the family and the birthplace of so many great British family firms?

Our vision for the 2023 campaign was The Family Business Festive Food Parcel to bring the community together to celebrate as a force for good nationally and to make a tangible difference locally. The family business community did not disappoint.

Cash donations poured in and were used to purchase food for donations regionally and in addition the community came together at a number of in person events around the UK where donations were made in the shape of food.

As Paul Andrews, Founder and CEO of Family Business United who organised the campaign explains, "We had no idea as to how the campaign would go as we already know how much family firms embrace, support and contribute to the communities in which they operate. That said, we have been overwhelmed by all of the support and donations that have come in and to date can confirm that we have delivered the equivalent of 11,966 meals to people in need."

"The generosity of the family business community is astonishing and the acts of kindness will make a real difference to lives this Christmas. Our campaign nationally has had a regional impact too as we have been able to support the work of a number of organisations including The Falkirk Food Bank, The Cardiff Food Bank, The Bread and Butter Thing and City Harvest, ensuring all areas of the country benefitted."

The campaign touched hundreds of family businesses across the country with events including:

  • A food bank collection for The Falkirk Food Bank organised by Simon Dickerson and the Workhorse Group, owners of East Stirlingshire FC that took place on the day of the East Stirlingshire FC versus Albion Rovers match where 342kg of food was donated and further cash donations were made subsequently.

  • An evening reception at Hayman's Gin for the London and South East community came together with donations weighing in at 501kg on the night and a further spend of £740 on food that was donated directly to City Harvest subsequently, with cash donations of £500 too.

  • A donation of £500 was made to the Cardiff Food Bank.

  • A behind the scenes tour of Sound Leisure, the jukebox manufacturer in Leeds saw 879kg of food being donated to The Bread and Butter Thing, a charity that works across the north of England, Yorkshire and the Midlands.

  • A food bank collection at the opening of the new Caribbean Blinds show gardens in Sudbury, Suffolk where guests donated food parcels on arrival amounting to 254kg.

As Sarah Calcutt, CEO of City Harvest explains: "Your donations bring hope and opportunity to thousands of people who are unable to access and afford nutritious food. Providing free, healthy food to community partners feeding some of our most vulnerable residents enables these organisations to stretch their budgets further to offer additional, vital services to those who require them."

"We are thrilled to have the support of Paul, Family Business United and the wider family business community and cannot say how much we appreciate the food donated and the impact that it will have this Christmas. Thank you so much."

Mark Game, CEO of The Bread and Butter Thing adds: "Your donation went to support families across Yorkshire and managed to give a Christmas feel to over 450 people this year. We really appreciate the support of the family business community in helping us make a difference this Christmas."

As Paul continues, "We are delighted with the response and have been truly delighted and humbled with the response at the same time. Every tin, leek, orange or bag of pasta is going to make a massive difference and every single item counts. We want to say thank you too."

"One story that really stood out was a parcel donated in Suffolk, beautifully wrapped and adorned with symoblic sunflowers, the national flower of Ukraine. The box was donated by a group of ladies from Mariopol in Ukraine, who are currently in the UK working for a family business. Despite their own circumstances they heard about the campaign and wanted to do something to help and donated a beautiful food parcel sent with love to help others less fortunate. An incredible gesture of kindness showing that people really do care and want to help others where they can."

"Their parcel summed up the campaign for us in so many ways. Simple and single acts of kindness go a long way, and we can all do something to make a difference, to change lives and to make the day a little bit brighter for someone too."

"Thank you to everyone who has got involved, to our sponsors Brooks Macdonald, the families that hosted our events and everyone who donated. We have made a difference and the impact is already being felt. Thank you for collectively helping us to do something special at a time of year that for many is not easy and bringing a touch of the festive season to those in need."

"We wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and all the best for a Happy and Healthy 2024."

Check out some of the images from the #FamilyBusinessFestiveFoodParcel events that took place around the UK:


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