Hayley Wheeler on raising £3,570 to support the Trussell Trust Food Bank Portsmouth and Pompey In The Community

The Reverse Advent Calendar came about 4 years ago as I saw first hand there was a need for support and kindness to the local community who were struggling especially during the hard months of winter. So with the support of my line manager, the idea was launched in our office, on a small scale, with a few items being added to a box that would eventually be delivered to a local homeless shelter/ kitchen.

As the word spread throughout the different departments across the University, the donations came flooding in from like-minded colleagues who wanted to give something back. We had so many thoughtful donations we were able to support many charities including the soup kitchen, a local women’s shelter and a hostel for the young homeless. Year on year the campaign has grown, enabling us to help more and more deserving causes across our City. Facebook and Instagram accounts were set up in order to engage with more people and businesses across the City who all wanted to get involved.

This year we are supporting Pompey in the Community with their various outreach charities one of which includes Re-Fit – a sports therapy programme delivered in partnership with Society of St James, offering free educational, sport and employment support activities to adults (18+) who are affected by these complex issues: criminality, substance misuse, homelessness, and mental health. Taking part in regular exercise and group activities can significantly improve the quality of life for vulnerable people and our service users report significant improvements in their physical and mental health, self-esteem and social interaction.

We will also be providing help to the Trussell Trust Food Bank – The food bank has seen some really unprecedented numbers using their services during the pandemic – cash donations help them buy what they need and when they need it!

“This winter, food banks are expecting to give out an emergency food parcel every nine seconds.”

From the Trussell Trust – “We don’t think anyone in our community should have to face going hungry. That’s why we provide three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred to us in crisis. We are part of a nationwide network of foodbanks, supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK”.

As well as purchasing food and essentials for those who need it, the Trussell Trust also offers compassionate, practical support to people in crisis to tackle the root causes that lock people into poverty and build people’s resilience so they are less likely to need a food bank in the future.

“The foodbank was there when we really needed it, it was an absolute lifeline”

So far the Reverse Advent Calendar has raised £3,570 for Pompey in the Community and The Trussell Trust, they are still looking to raise their target of £5000!

Just Giving Link – https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/portsmouthreverseadventcalendar?fbclid=IwAR3xnmEeqJ2kvK8_Npl9SuKaVZGfWLmIvqZh0Oovxgoih8bBlaecScL4nxc