October 18th, 2016
Barnshaws Section Benders is a company many would associate with construction, but the Tividale based metal fabrication and bending experts have also been getting involved in another kind of development. Barnshaws has been helping to develop the local community, having raised £1060 for various local charities, all from a single snack cupboard!
The initiative took off 2 years ago when Barnshaws replaced their vending machine with a snack cupboard for employees. The snacks proved to be popular, and shortly after it was suggested to slightly increase prices and donate the profits to local charities.
Joanne Hardy at Barnshaws helped spearhead the campaign, and she remembers the first donation well, 'the first organisation we chose was Dudley Sea Cadets, who are a local registered charity providing experiences and training to 10-18 year olds for the future. I am proud that Barnshaws Tividale donated £850 within the first 18 months! This has provided funds for new equipment and also contributed to running courses. Our help has been very valuable to them.'
After the Dudley Sea Cadets had secured lottery funding, Joanne focussed her attention to Breaking Bread, an independent foodbank in Wednesbury. Barnshaws was already supporting the charity with annual Christmas staff collections, but Joanne saw the opportunity to supply even more necessary items to the charity thanks to the snack cupboard.
Barnshaws was able to donate over £125 worth of items in April 2016. Joanne expanded on the positive response afterward, 'John Stevenson, who manages Breaking Bread, sends us regular e-mail updates on how our contribution is helping people, which gives everyone in the office a great buzz.'
Joanne has continued the initiative further by recently donating £85 of items to Wolverhampton Homeless Outreach. Joanne connected with the outreach via Breaking Bread, 'I gathered the £85 and went out with my daughter to buy all the items Wolverhampton Homeless Outreach had listed as being in desperately short supply on their Facebook page; anything from tea and milk, to socks and underwear. Katie, one of the volunteers who came to collect our donation was overwhelmed, not only by what we had given and the fact it was exactly what they needed, but also where the money had come from.'
'The staff at Barnshaws have been amazing in helping to fund these projects, we would never have raised £1060 without their help. We are definitely going to continue in the same vein and offer more and more help to our community in future.'