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Aldi holiday kits to support 500 families this summer

13 August 2020
aldi holiday kits

This week we partnered with Aldi UK to support the distribution of 500 summer holiday kits to 10 small charities and community organisations across the UK.


All the charities involved in the scheme offer holiday hunger programmes to children and families during the summer, at a time when up to three million children are at risk of going hungry, so extra provision of both activities and healthy food supplies were key to the packs.



As well as games, activities and healthy recipe cards, the packs included Aldi vouchers so that families can purchase the ingredients to cook them, ensuring that the children have access to healthy, fresh food.


"I am loving seeing the smiles on the kids' faces"


With the games sponsored by Team GB and inspired by Team GB athletes, the packs will help children stay busy and active during the summer holidays too. 

aldi summer kits families

Karen Humble, Chair and Founder of Clifton Community and Family Support group told us: "We began distributing the Aldi packs this week and the families are loving them. Two of the family size kits have already gone out to two large families with five children in each. I feel like Santa in summer and am loving seeing the smiles on the kids' faces."


Pam Atwal (pictured above), the Designated Safeguarded and Community Lead at Oasis Community Hub Short Heath, added: “We’re seeing more and more families turning to us for support during the school holidays and Aldi’s Holiday Kits will help us provide the support these families and children need.”


Fritz Walleczek, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility at Aldi UK, said: “To help families across the UK, we have worked with our charity partner, Neighbourly and Team GB to create Holiday Kits that are designed to provide kids with something fun to do at home, as well as food vouchers and recipes to help out with the cost of a weekly shop.”


Aldi UK has already donated over 7.9 million meals to over 2,300 charities through the Neighbourly platform since early 2019 and we’re proud to be working with them on this new and important initiative, working together to tackle the holiday hunger and inequalities faced by children and families across the UK.

Neighbourly partners with the National Business Response Network to boost charitable support from businesses

7 August 2020
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In response to the UK’s Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown in March, the National Business Response Network (NBRN) was launched by Business in the Community - a non-profit business-led membership organisation dedicated to responsible business.

Here at Neighbourly, with a platform of over 14,000 vetted local charities and community groups, we know the amazing impact businesses can make with their available funds, employee time, and surplus food and products, right the way across the country.

A response to need

The NBRN offers a way for charities to seek specific, often on-off, resources from businesses who are able to respond directly to charity requests. So far, more than 2,000 matches have been made across the UK through the network and we’re excited to share some of our success stories from the past few months.

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Image credit: Cubbit Community House (https://twitter.com/CubittComHouse)


In June, Neighbourly worked with the NBRN to deliver Juicy Water from Innocent Drinks to Community Food Enterprise (CFE) in London with the logistics support of Brakes / Foodbuy.

In just 4 days, CFE worked with other charities and community organisations to distribute nearly 36,000 smoothie bottles to vulnerable people in East London. Recipients included foodbanks, schools, homeless hostels, sheltered housing, churches and many voluntary and community organisations that provide food bags to struggling communities as a response to Covid-19.

In response, CFE told us: "We truly appreciated your help in delivering this produce to us, allowing us to help residents in one of the poorest communities in England."

In addition, when United Utilities posted a surplus of bottled water through the National Business Response Network, we were able to match them up with a number of local small charities and community groups who were able to use and distribute it to those in need.

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A force for good

Business in the Community’s Chief Executive, Amanda Mackenzie told us: “The contribution that businesses are making to support our most vulnerable communities is magnificent. Their offers of support through our National Business Response Network magnifies the impact of business giving – bringing the scale of a national business network to the doorsteps of our local communities. We could not get these resources where they need to be without the brilliant work of Neighbourly.”

“We know what local communities need as they battle the impact of Covid-19 on their towns and cities and we’re calling on businesses who want to offer support to contact us to make sure their support gets to the right place at the right time.”

Neighbourly CEO Steve Butterworth added: "As an organisation that's worked with a number of community focused businesses and global brands over several years, we know that relationships like those cultivated by NBRN have the power to transform local communities in the long term - so we're excited to see the kindling of these new connections light the fire for ongoing charitable impact in our local communities."


Community Survey Reveals Impact of Covid-19 on Small Charities

6 August 2020
community survey covid-19 header

The past six months has been a learning curve for charities, companies and organisations - and it’s not been easy.


Knowing that our business partners stand with us in working together to actively recognise the critical importance of grassroots level organisations during this time of crisis has been both humbling and incredibly promising for their futures..


Over the course of March and April, we launched our Community Fund in partnership with M&S, giffgaff, HEINEKEN, Coca-cola European Partners, Aldi, Southern Coop, Lidl and Nutricia (Danone) - raising over £1.2million.


This is being distributed in £400 microgrants across more than 3,000 of our network of vetted charities and good causes, impacting the 700,000+ people they support per week in their local communities. 


During the same time period, major publishers Penguin and Hachette UK donated a combined total of over 30,000 books, giffgaff and Doro partnered to donate 500 phones and free credit for isolated older people and combined food surplus donations from our partners M&S, Lidl, Aldi and Innocent reached over 6 million meals during the lockdown weeks alone.


As most of the country now starts to move out of lockdown, we need to maintain the momentum we’ve achieved together, in working towards a society that leaves no one behind.

A Community Voice

Our latest Community Survey* involved over 1,200 of the good causes in the Neighbourly community to identify both their strengths and their concerns and to get their collective voice heard - so we know exactly where efforts need to be directed in the coming months.


Of those who responded to our survey, the majority were at the very heart of their local community with 32% working in the area of ‘Community and Inclusion’ and 21% within ‘Food Provision’.


variety of organisation type

Impact of Covid-19

When the government announced the start of lockdown measures in March, businesses, families and communities all had to adapt at lightning speed. But for the many who were vulnerable, unwell, isolated or had little money or access to food, the need for support surged.


93% of small charities and good causes were impacted by the Covid economic crisis and rise in demand. Of that, one third described this impact as ‘severe’.


Our network of charities and causes report that they have now more than doubled the number of people they support each week, with the average number rising to an estimated 299 per organisation, per week.


surge in charity demand

With this incredible surge in demand it wasn’t long before charities, communities and teams of volunteers became the biggest innovators of all, working around the clock to get essential food, medicine and support to those in need.



social distancing affects on charities

Almost overnight, organisations and their volunteers were coming together to transform their services, with almost 75% completely remodelling and 46% forced to temporarily pause one or more of their usual services. 


We saw small charities embracing digital technology to stay in touch with service users, as well as developing their own hot meal and food parcel delivery services and finding clever ways to keep the most vulnerable in their communities both supported and safe.

Volunteering and Civic Spirit

At the start of the UK’s lockdown, a surge in volunteering and civic spirit was seen with thousands registering to offer support to both the NHS and local Covid response groups. With the theme of community suddenly at the forefront of the public’s mind, 6 in 10 of the charities we surveyed also reported having benefited from a rise in volunteering and civic spirit at this time.


However, with many lives now returning to some semblance of normality, some charities are concerned about the impact of this support dropping off. For example, 60% of the new volunteer recruits charities estimated were furloughed staff - many of whom will have already either faced the need to tackle personal unemployment or return to work.


Schemes such as our Remote Employee Volunteering programme launched in June and supported by businesses including The FA, Danone and Samsung, offers a solution to some of the essential adhoc and ongoing support many charities need - without the worries of social distancing.


But in order to ensure that schemes like this continue to have impact, charities need more companies to come onboard, offering their employees the means to use some of their time and talents to help small charities in their local communities.


Future Outlook

The majority (just under two thirds) of the small charities we surveyed are feeling positive about the future and their ability to continue for at least the next 6 months without needing to close any services.


The future of our small charities needs continued support however, to maintain both positivity and the practical resources required to continue to meet the level of need in their local communities in the longer term.

Continued Focus

As well as the changes small charities have seen, several key societal issues remain at the forefront of our communities.


Our survey asked small charities about their involvement and support of both black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities and children and families struggling with holiday hunger this summer.

BAME support

Black and minority ethnic communities in the UK make up around 13% of the population, yet they are overrepresented in the most deprived neighbourhoods. On Neighbourly, BAME communities represent 25% of people supported across all small charities and community groups.


support for bame communities

Whilst local grassroots organisations are not and should not be the only solution to the discrimination faced by millions, financial donations and support can help to redress some of the imbalance - allowing charities to continue to support those in the BAME community who are most negatively affected. 


Small charities and community groups are part of an incredibly important network of campaigners who never tire. They are voices for the rights of BAME communities and fight to address the specific injustices faced on a personalised and localised level. 

Holiday Hunger

The UK is now well into its school summer holidays and, according to the government, around 1.3 million children should be receiving meal vouchers to help cover the free school meals they would’ve been getting during term time.


However, with 41 % of the charities we surveyed reporting involvement in holiday hunger provision (such as provision of holiday clubs with free meals or food parcels), there is clearly still a gap for many children who are not sufficiently covered by our current welfare system.


holiday hunger provision from charities

As we recently discussed in our report on the latest research from the House of Lords Select Committee, holiday food provision to children in the UK is a growing issue. A lack of regular and healthy nutrition can mean children on lower incomes lack the concentration and energy to learn, play and grow in line with their peers - deepening generational poverty in the process.


For charities, this need to focus on nutrition detracts from other areas of focus such as provision of additional education support, emotional and mental health support and more. Hunger is unfortunately just one dimension of the difficulties that individuals and families are facing and it is important that we take a holistic view of local community need, considering an individual’s need for nourishment and support beyond food. 

Build Back Together

Small charities can offer tailored services that meet the unique needs of their local communities in a way that nationwide programmes aren’t set up to do. This puts large businesses in a unique position to be able to offer support on a local scale, where impact is greatest.


Supporting small charities kick starts a positive feedback loop for both people and businesses in the local area, reducing issues often exacerbated by poverty and inequality. 


Small charities and local causes need more help now than ever before in order not only to survive but to thrive and transform local communities - positively impacting society from the inside out.


The businesses that we partner with are key to providing the specialist resources, time and funds to small charities that help make this happen. For us, they provide one of the biggest solutions to allow us to #BuildBackTogether.


If you're a business that's looking to support local communities or the Neighbourly Community Fund, click here to find out more about donating product surplus, volunteers and funds.


* The Community Survey was carried out between June and July 2020 and had 1,264 responses. All respondents represented small charities and community causes registered on the Neighbourly platform.

Holiday Heroes: the charities that are taking on holiday hunger

23 July 2020
holiday hunger

In the UK, 1.3 million children receive free school meals during term time. That’s just over 1 in every 10 children attending school in the UK.


However, when it comes to school holidays, our latest community survey indicated that around 40% of small charities provide holiday hunger relief to children and their families, with the average charity supporting around 85 children per week during the summer break. 


On the Neighbourly site alone, that adds up to around 5,600 charities supporting nearly half a million children every week.


Despite the government now pledging to support those in receipt of school meals during the summer with meal vouchers, it’s clear that there are still large gaps in our current system whereby many more children in need are being missed, and food is only one part of it.

Holiday Heroes

Here at Neighbourly, we know that some of the biggest community heroes are small charities and their hardworking volunteers that support these children by running essential school holiday programmes in the most deprived areas of the UK.


Often providing an easy-to-access service that’s tailored to the needs of their local communities - these charities are not only feeding children in need but providing activities and learning opportunities that parents and caregivers may be struggling to provide - taking a holistic view of community need by helping to support children’s and parent’s wider well-being.


To celebrate the charities supporting millions of children this summer, we’ve showcased three of these organisations to demonstrate the incredible impact they can have and why supporting them is essential.

CATCH Leeds

holiday hunger catch leeds

CATCH and its volunteers are an inspiring team, whose work comprises so many incredible projects it’s hard to keep up. Based in Leeds, CATCH was set up by volunteers to improve their local area in Harehills - particularly by providing a safe space for the children and young people living there. 


Over the years CATCH has expanded hugely, now providing a community space, youth club, community farm, cafe and more. Throughout lockdown it has continued to engage and support young people in the local area, getting them involved and leading the way in everything from gardening and farming to helping at the food hub. Some have even been helping restore and convert an old bus that’s being transformed into a portable food bank for the local area.


Based in a deprived area, holiday hunger is something the charity is not unfamiliar with. In fact, they have estimated that around 70% of the young people they work with are affected. 


The additional holiday programmes they run to help keep these children and teens fuelled is therefore naturally intertwined with their day-to-day activities. And with so many wonderful young people volunteering, working hard, learning essential skills and having plenty of fun along the way, it’s easy to see how being well fed is absolutely essential.

Ibijoke Children’s Foundation UK 

holiday hunger ibijoke

For families struggling to afford to feed their children healthy, nutritious and filling meals in the school holidays, other essentials such as school uniforms, school trips and family outings can also be out of reach.


Ibijoke Foundation in Liverpool recognises the importance of ensuring that no kids miss out - not only with the food they need to grow and thrive but also on the experiences that enhance skills such as team building and practical learning beyond textbooks.


As well as providing healthy food and cooked meals, Ibijoke Children’s Centre also also runs its own weekly activities and bi-annual outings, plus extra education support such as homework clubs and maths tutoring. 


For Ibijoke Foundation and the children and families it supports, having access to good food on a regular basis is fuel for the many things needed to build a more equal society for all.

Venchie Children and Young People’s Project

holiday hunger venchie

Venchie is a non-profit community group that aims to help children in the local community of Craigmillar in Edinburgh at their own dedicated centre.


At Venchie, a team of volunteers run everything from breakfast clubs - picking 30 children from their homes and via the centre where they’re well fed and then dropped at school - to activities such as after school club and drama club. Their own in-house adventure playground makes them a popular place for children in the area to spend their time during their school holiday programmes too.


Keen to make sure no child has missed out on good food during the lockdown, Venchie came up with a unique solution to getting balanced meals into the community - via mini bus.


So, since March, they’ve been driving the Venchie mini bus full of supplies to local spots for families to collect a packed lunch along with some fresh fruit and veg. 

Funding Holiday Hunger Programmes 

As with many school summer programmes run by volunteers in our local communities, the pandemic has made it especially difficult to reach children needing the most help. 


Not all children and young people have regular internet access or access to smartphones that enable them to take part in virtual events or support sessions, and many community groups lack the funds and resources to make their summer programmes safe enough to invite children along in person.


Given the resources available and strain on small charities, it's incredible seeing organisations continue to do all they can to support children - even if it's as simple as a weekly food parcel.


Charities like these exist all over the UK and Ireland and regular donations and funding are essential to help keep their services running. That’s one of the reasons why we set up the Neighbourly Foundation and Community Fund - to make it easier to contribute directly to those looking after the health and happiness of the whole community.


We're also calling for businesses to donate a range of other products to benefit children and families this summer – including arts materials, puzzles, games or practical sports equipment.


In our recent survey of more than 1,000 community causes (including food banks, homelessness charities and community centres), 66% said they would benefit from children’s arts, craft and learning materials, with 58% saying the same for children’s toys and games, and 77% for kitchen and cooking items.


By donating other items to support the wider wellbeing of children and families, businesses can help struggling communities to get the sustenance and support they so urgently need.

New research highlights critical need to tackle food insecurity and holiday hunger

16 July 2020
food insecurity house of lords supermarket

The House of Lords Select Committee on Food, Poverty, Health and the Environment has released a report calling for the introduction of new policies to support the health and wellbeing of all through fair access to healthy food.


With their evidence coming from a wide range of expert sources, including some of Neighbourly’s own community research and feedback from thousands of charities using the platform, it’s no surprise that the report’s emphasis on spiralling rates of food insecurity across the UK are well in line with what community groups, schools and food banks have been telling us. 


As summarised in the report: “Significant numbers of people are unable to access the food they need, let alone access a healthy diet.”

The bigger picture

Estimations made by the UN suggests around 2.2 million people in the UK are severely food insecure. But with many millions more forced to choose between nutritious meals and paying their bills, the situation is likely much worse.


In our latest community survey carried out in June, charities told us that they’d seen the number of people seeking support since March more than double. With so many of the small charities we surveyed providing some sort of food relief during lockdown, the predictions quickly become alarming.


Yet without any UK-wide figures collected on those affected - and the causes - we’re left with the growing queues outside food banks as one of our only indicators of the need for change.


Whilst we can see that there is a huge problem, our government currently lacks the in-depth knowledge of the root causes which can inform the most efficient and considerate ways for the problem to be tackled.

Key recommendations

When looking specifically at food insecurity, the report’s key recommendations are:


  • To introduce detailed, routine and fully transparent monitoring of food insecurity in the UK - the findings of which can be used to inform socio-economic reforms in policy


  • Address problems around Universal Credit, particularly around the 5 week wait which, for many families, means they are left without enough money for food


  • To re-evaluate the affordability of Public Health England’s Eat Well Guide and factor its cost into welfare and benefit reform to ensure a healthy diet is affordable for all


  • Improve access to healthy food for school age children by reforming and expanding existing schemes - including Healthy Start vouchers, free school meals and holiday hunger programmes

Food to grow

house of lords holiday hunger

With school holidays now upon us, one of the most pressing on this list of recommendations is holiday hunger.


Although the government has now pledged to extend the free school meal vouchers introduced during lockdown to cover the summer, evidence from food banks suggests the current system is not enough.


Results from our survey suggest that at least 40% of Neighbourly causes are involved in holiday hunger programmes and that they are helping an average of 85 children per organisation every week during the school holidays.


Even if these suggested changes in policy are taken forward, they are unlikely to have an impact quickly enough for the millions of children in the UK who are living below the poverty line right now.

Supporting charities with better policies

Whilst charities are bearing the burden of the nation’s food crisis, providing support to them in the form of funding is integral to ensuring the country’s most vulnerable children are nourished with healthy food to carry them through the long summer break.  


Funds such as the Neighbourly Community Fund, which supports smaller grassroots charities, food banks and holiday hunger programmes, is one of the funds that has been helping to keep these local lifelines running. Seeing large corporate businesses invest in the needs of their local communities through donations to these funds has been a hugely positive shift that’s been all the more prominent during the pandemic.


As we begin to work together with more community-focused momentum, we need more socially minded businesses like these offering continued hope to the small charities which collectively make a huge impact.


Time will tell if new policies can start to tackle the issue of food insecurity in the UK. We look forward to a time when charities no longer need to be welfare firefighters, instead diverting their attention - and funds - to the things that matter the most to them and their local communities.

Why we are supporting Stop Hate For Profit

7 July 2020
stop hate for profit final

We stand for many things here at Neighbourly but at the heart of everything is responsible business practices and community.

 

We believe that every person, family, community and society should have access to information which is true, inclusive and free from hate. That is why we are standing with other businesses around the world to boycott Facebook advertising until firm action is taken.

 

There is no room for discrimination in our society - now more than ever. As we embark on the most critical time of our lives as the global pandemic takes hold and economic shockwaves are felt - bringing communities together to collaborate positively is essential. 

 

With that, ‘Stop Hate for Profit’ should be embraced as a core value by all business leaders, politicians, community leaders and citizens.

Fund communities, not hate

Facebook makes $70 billion a year from advertising. The Stop Hate For Profit campaign asks us: what would you do with it?


We'd invest in our communities - into the hundreds of thousands of local charities that are looking after us all as part of this crisis but now face a £4 billion shortfall in funding in the next 12 weeks. 


Whilst business leaders and politicians look ahead to piece together a fractured economy, we must not forget the smaller and more humble causes that, collectively, have prevented our communities from falling apart.


By championing the organisations that fight for the vulnerable in society and give people a voice - we can #BuildBackTogether.


To find out more about the Facebook boycott and reasons behind the campaign, head to the Stop Hate For Profit website.

Let’s Talk Loneliness: A Q&A With Danone’s Volunteer Befrienders

16 June 2020
danone befrienders loneliness awareness week

According to research from British Red Cross and Co Op, over 9 million people in the UK – almost a fifth of the population – say they are always or often lonely.


Loneliness is one of the most complex of human emotions that touches us all - old or young, rich or poor. Yet, for those affected, it’s rarely talked about. 


Through the Neighbourly community, we’ve seen the tremendous impact small charities and volunteers can have on reducing the sense of loneliness and isolation vulnerable groups can feel. 


This week, with the Marmalade Trust spreading awareness through its Loneliness Awareness Week 'Let's Talk Loneliness' campaign, we caught up with two employee volunteers from our partner Danone who have signed up as remote befrienders at local charities to find out how they’re connecting with others to help them feel less isolated and alone.

Giving back

danone befriender beth

Beth Underwood, a Shopper Marketing Manager at Danone Dairy UK, always wanted to find a way to volunteer when she moved to London nearly three years ago, but struggled to find anything suitable.


Since discovering the more flexible and remote volunteering options through Danone’s partnership with Neighbourly, she’s now signed up with not one, but two charities - Dorset Mind and Greenwich & Bexley Hospice.


“Covid-19 has made me more determined to volunteer”, she says. “I’m really close to my grandparents (pictured above) but they live a four-hour drive away, so I haven’t been able to see them in months. I video call them every day, but I know that many older people are not as fortunate to have this kind of regular contact with others.”

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For Samantha Legg, Danone's Head of Legal Affairs, who has been writing letters to the elderly through Selly Oak MHA, the motivation to connect to others was due to being separated from her father during the lockdown. "My father, who lives in France, unfortunately suffers from dementia", she tells us. 


"It has become increasingly difficult over the past several months for us to connect to him remotely. This has been a difficult time for myself and my daughter, who was particularly keen to retain some meaningful connection to her grandparents’ generation."

A friendly voice

Pre Covid, Sam and her daughter Anita had been visiting the residents of a local care home on a regular basis, so already knew what a huge difference a friendly face and connection could make.


Continuing these visits on a remote basis, she tells us: “In addition to bringing a little bit of joy to those who are experiencing loneliness, this is also an opportunity for myself and my daughter to continue to connect to, appreciate and learn from our older generation.”


Beth on the other hand, who’d previously held a career in Psychology, had seen some of the negative impacts of poor mental health and isolation. Her motivation to volunteer came from a desire to use her skills to give back.


“From my previous experience of working in a hospital and care home, I know first-hand how much of a difference a friendly face or voice and a conversation about something silly can make to those who may be having a difficult time”, she says.


“I also know how much value a sense of regular contact and commitment has from someone external to friends, family or health workers.”

Friendship and support

anita befriending LAW danone

Whilst Beth and Sam’s volunteering will inevitably be helping others to feel less alone, befriending can mean different things to different charities and the people that are a part of them. 


For Sam’s daughter Anita, who enjoys drawing and colouring, this means bonding through art as well as words and the crafty pair have also been sending brightly coloured pictures along with their letters, to bring additional brightness and cheer to those they’re connecting with.


Meanwhile, Beth will be experiencing two different ways of supporting others remotely. She explains: “Volunteering at the hospice will involve making regular calls to individuals who are part of the hospice but working at home and missing out on social contact. It will involve simply having a conversation, like I would with a friend, to support with loneliness. 


“For the Mind befriending, I will be matched to one client who is managing their mental health condition with professionals. I will then have scheduled 30min conversations every fortnight and go through a specific ‘goal’ programme over a 3 month period.”


Huge thanks to Beth and Sam for taking the time to share their stories and experiences. To get involved in Loneliness Awareness Week, check out the Marmalade Trust website.


To find out how Neighbourly matches businesses’ volunteer skills with its network of vetted good causes, head to our Volunteering page. If you're a charity that's looking to recruit some volunteers, create a volunteer event on your Neighbourly project page. You can get in touch if you have any questions by emailing hello@neighbourly.com.

Hachette UK donates 12,000 books through Neighbourly platform

12 June 2020
hachette book donation

Publisher Hachette UK has donated a whopping 12,000 books to charities and community groups on Neighbourly to help those who need them most during this period of self-isolation.


“Books connect us and that’s never been more important than now, when we’re physically apart”


The donation included a large number of Fearne Cotton’s ‘Calm’ journals which went to staff and patients at the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, the perfect antidote to those needing to work through feelings of anxiety and distress from the situations they face in hospitals during this crisis.


Malcolm Heaven, who works as a project specialist for the trust, says: “The donation of 'Calm' journals has meant so much to the staff at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust. They have brought some positivity and motivated our staff and their most vulnerable patients to look after themselves and their wellbeing at such a challenging and difficult time.  


“The books have been used by staff who are self-isolating and by ward teams and young patients in hospitals. Our teams have put in so much hard work keeping patients safe during the pandemic and we're grateful that we were able to thank and support them with these books.”

hachette book donation nhs leicestershire

Bags of sunshine

Over at Age UK Oxfordshire, the book donation went towards their ‘Bags of Sunshine’ scheme.


Ruth Swift, Head of Community Development at Age UK Oxfordshire, explains: "These Bags of Sunshine were designed to let older people know that they are still cared about, still thought of and that we are still here to help when they are even more isolated than usual due to Covid-19. The books will have a great impact on lifting spirits and relieving boredom during this time." 


Another beneficiary of the book donations was the Children’s Book Project - a charity based in London that gifts books that children have grown out of, to those with few of their own. Their ultimate aim is for every child to experience the emotional pleasure and escapism of a book that they have chosen themselves.


“It's about the creative spark that all children can get from opening a book and getting lost in a fantasy world”



Liberty Venn from The Children’s Book Project says: "The books from Hachette have been very gratefully received by the schools and communities we work with. They have played a key role in reassuring parents and carers that they are not expected to be teachers. 


“One of the schools which received Hachette books told us it's not just about home learning; it's about the creative spark that all children can get from opening a book and getting lost in a fantasy world or a world full of facts and figures. At this particularly challenging time, this gift of books has allowed them to spend a vital few minutes engaging with the parents and sometimes the children while they are collecting their books.”

Words and actions 

At Hachette UK, their goal is to make it easy for all people everywhere to access new worlds of learning, entertainment and opportunity. 


David Shelley, CEO of Hachette UK says: “Books connect us and that’s never been more important than now, when we’re physically apart. These are just a few of the deserving causes we’ve been able to help, and we hope our books have opened up new worlds of entertainment and learning for these communities during the lockdown.”


Head to Hachette UK’s page on Neighbourly to find out more about their book donation. To find out how Neighbourly matches businesses’ product donations to its network of vetted good causes, head to our Product Surplus page.

We Stand With You

10 June 2020
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We entered this week as a proud Bristolian business – the removal of the statue of Edward Colston during the Black Lives Matter protests, whether you agree with it or not, has opened the door further for the uncomfortable conversations we need to have, which are reverberating around the world and have finally reached our UK parliament. Racism is systemic in our society – it’s conscious and unconscious and goes unchecked as we sleepwalk through our lives.

Rarely has there been an occasion when Ben & Jerry's and Banksy have been singing from the same song sheet, such is the urgency of the debate that we need to have, calling for an end to “white supremacy” - not self-conscious racism but the political, economic and cultural system in which white people overwhelmingly control power and material resources - and that “people of colour are being failed by the system – the white system”.

The words they use are strong, powerful, uncomfortable and deliberate. The atrocious death of George Floyd is yet one more lost life to add to the list of countless others who have died at the hands of police brutality, disadvantaged by an unequal society, living in underfunded communities and fighting for survival on a daily basis. White privilege is a real thing that has existed for as long as we can remember. It is the responsibility of all white people to acknowledge and consciously reflect on the wrongs that have gone before. 

The Covid-19 crisis has sadly amplified the situation further by highlighting the undeniable fact that this social disparity has meant the virus has killed more people from BAME communities than others, so not only is the ‘conversation’ urgent, but action needed is too.

These events underpin the importance of how the Neighbourly platform operates, providing micro-grants, surplus food and volunteers to causes supporting those hardest hit in our communities. We commit to ensuring that beneficiary charities working hard to support minority groups or striving for their equality and representation are heard, now and in the future. We will use this moment to call to action businesses and individuals alike to maintain their support for these grassroots organisations that have made a critical difference to BAME communities, not just over the last 12 weeks of the pandemic but for as long as they have existed.

Right here, right now, as our normal everyday lives have been put on hold and our habits have been broken by the Coronavirus crisis, it creates the moment to catalyse change in our local communities around the globe. But change starts with “I” as well as “we”. Personal responsibility, personal commitment and personal accountability. No more sleepwalking or ignorance. No more apathy.

We must “build back better”, celebrate historical moments that reflect progress, which remind our communities and our Government how we must change, that inequality is not acceptable and make a personal commitment to "be the change we want to see in the world".



Leaders call on Prime Minister to create socially just and green recovery from Covid-19

9 June 2020
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A letter sent to the Prime Minister on Tuesday 9th June, signed by Neighbourly CEO Steve Butterworth along with more than 100 renowned individuals, companies, charities, universities, and trade associations has called on the UK Government to ensure the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are at the heart of UK Covid-19 recovery plans. 

The letter references a statement made by the Prime Minister at the Financing for Development event on 28 May where he called for "fairer, greener and more resilient global economy" after Covid-19. He said that we must ‘work together to get shared goals back on track including [...] the Sustainable Development Goals’.

The letter supports this and states ‘we do not need to reinvent frameworks or agreements, we can instead use the global goals as the basis for a socially just and green recovery in the UK and abroad’.

Early evidence from the Business and Sustainable Development Commission showed that if implemented the SDGs create at least US$12tn in business opportunities in just 60 market hotspots and estimates this could be 2-3 times bigger across the whole economy.  

The letter has been coordinated by the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD) and the United Nations Global Compact Network UK (GCN UK).

Signatories, along side Neighbourly, include: the leaders of Leonard Cheshire, Natwest Group, Nestle UK & Ireland, Linklaters, Clifford Chance, The Body Shop, SSE, HSBC, Standard Life Aberdeen, Mott MacDonald and Unilever; filmmaker Richard Curtis; the Mayor of Bristol; Chairman of the Local Government Association and Dr Mya-Rose Craig (aka Birdgirl).

The letter states that the ‘SDGs provide an internationally agreed framework, which also works at national, regional and local level, alongside and reinforcing existing plans and commitments.’

It asks that the SDGs be used ‘used to consolidate and future-proof [recovery] plans’ and goes on to recommend that they are used to:

  1. Prioritise the most vulnerable in our society and level-up regional and societal inequalities
  2. Build coherent policies for a healthy planet and to aid the transition to net zero
  3. Unite all sectors behind a plan to build a stronger and more resilient economy

The SDGs are part of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and give a “shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future”. There are 17 Goals at its centre, encompassing climate action, education and health.

Unfortunately, the UKSSD Measuring Up report, found gaps in policy or inadequate performance for 57% of targets, and 15% where there is little to no policy in place to address it, or where performance is poor. It anticipates that this situation will be worsened by the societal and economic impacts of Covid-19. 

Richard Curtis, UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate, film writer, director and co-founder of Project Everyone has said:

“The COVID crisis has shown more than ever that we must work together to secure a better future. The Global Goals are a powerful tool to help us do this; they provide a common vision and a practical blueprint for collaboration. The breadth of support for this letter demonstrates a commitment to working with the UK government to deliver healthy lives, healthy societies and a healthy planet for everyone. We can only build back better together and I hope that the Government will use the Goals to help them do this”


Read the letter in full here.