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We don’t need to tell you 2020 has been a tough year for everyone, that’s something we can all agree on. Maybe you’ve been lucky enough to keep your job, but you’ve not been able to see your shielding parents. Maybe you’ve had to make some sacrifices along the way to make ends meet. And maybe you’ve lost people close to you. Everyone has certainly been affected in one way or another.

For some families, putting food on their table every week has been a struggle. Foodbank staff and volunteers have been working tirelessly to help those families and to keep their community fed, as no one should have to go without food.

Bericote embarked on a Christmas incentive to make and deliver 150 Christmas Happiness Hampers to Dartford families in need this Christmas. We worked with all our contractors on The Powerhouse development to raise funds and collect food donations, then used the funds to buy enough food for the hampers – picture about 30 large shopping trollies full!

These were then expertly packed by a team of YMCA employees and volunteers, including myself. In the end we managed to collectively raise £10,000 to create 200 Christmas Happiness Hampers, give 340 local children a Christmas gift each and have plenty of supply leftover to donate to other local foodbanks. We were also able to create 150 ‘hugs in a mug’ which included a YMCA mug, tea, hot chocolate and more.

This quote from a mother who received one of our hampers says it all…

“These hampers are a lifeline. They are the difference between the kids eating and us being able to eat together as a family. I cannot thank you enough for all you have done for us this year.”

My back hurts in places I didn’t know it could – and I’m 25.. I got home after a full 3 days of shopping and hamper packing and my feet were throbbing. You try to make a plan as best you can, but at the end of the day you’re not professionals with vans, crates and equipment – you’re a bunch of enthusiastic people with a dream, a car, bit of side office space and 200 apple boxes, trying to pull this off… ‘Lift with the knees!’

This was my experience on one large project. It was tiresome and stressful for all, but absolutely worth the effort to help those who need it. What blows my mind, is this is something these wonderful employees and volunteers do week in and week out, simply because they believe in helping their fellow neighbours, for little reward or recognition.
Well please know you don’t go unnoticed, and this year Bericote would like to nominate all the foodbank workers and volunteers as our Heroes of 2020.

With a special shout out to; Emma (YMCA), Penny (YMCA), Kirsty (YMCA), Rachele, James, Daisy (National Grid), Sarah, Sandy (The Leigh UTC), Becky, Rebekah, Nishita, Lindsey, Lucy and Natalie for all your tremendous hard work in the last week to make these happiness hampers achievable.

Also a special thanks to all the companies who donated food or money towards the incentive; (Bericote), ISG, MBA Consultants, Brown and Mason, Collier & Associates, National Grid, BlueEarth Construction/Collins Earthworks, CDM Contract Services, Ecology Solutions & Pinnacle.

Merry Christmas all and here’s to a better 2021.

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