Swindon and Devizes Foodbanks receive share of £9,000 donation from leading housebuilder

By Jamie Hill - 24 June 2020


Wichelstowe, Tadpole Garden Village and Mill Brook developers, Barratt and David Wilson Homes, donate £3,000 to Swindon and Devizes Foodbanks to support communities hit by Covid-19 pandemic.

Two Wiltshire foodbanks have said a big ‘thank you' to a major housebuilder for donating £3,000 to help continue their work to support communities in need.

Swindon Food Collective and Devizes & District Foodbank have experienced a surge in demand for food parcels, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

So Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes, who are developing Canalside at WichelstowePark View and Larks Rise at Tadpole Garden Village, along with Mill Brook (Barratt) Mill Brook (David Wilson) in Westbury and Lay Wood in Devizes, have stepped in with much-needed funds so the volunteer-run foodbanks can increase their support.

Devizes & District Foodbank has reported a 50% increase in demand this spring, compared to the same period last year. Swindon Food Collective also saw demand go up by 50% during the first two months of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Swindon charity fed just over 6,000 people in 2019, but already this year they are near to feeding 7,000 people, of whom at least a third are children.

The Swindon Food Collective and Devizes & District Foodbank donations are part of a £9,000 initiative by Barratt and David Wilson Homes to support food banks near the communities they are building across the South West. Barratt Developments chief executive David Thomas was in the South West last week (Friday 19 June) to meet local foodbank volunteers at South Bristol development, Filwood Park.

Liz Starling, project manager for Devizes & District Foodbank said:

"The coronavirus outbreak has hit some of the poorest people in our communities hardest and, like other local food banks, we've seen a huge surge in demand for food parcels over the past few months. Our volunteer teams are working tirelessly to ensure that we have the necessary stocks to respond to this crisis. In April 2020 alone we gave out 102 emergency food boxes (of which 57 were to families with children) - that is an increase of 50% over the same period last year. We want to say a big ‘thank you' to Barratt and David Wilson Homes for these generous donations which mean we will be able to continue to respond to the fast-changing situation and provide the lifeline of emergency food and additional support for people in crisis."

Cher Smith MBE, Swindon Food Collective Manager added:

"The grant from Barratt and David Wilson Homes has been really helpful at a particularly challenging time for us as we are feeding the vulnerable and isolated. One lady of 77 years rang for help recently as she had just eaten the last of her frozen vegetables and didn't know how to get any more food and was afraid to go to the shops due to the virus. An 88 year old gentleman had been surviving on crackers for four days before he rang us for help. Families with children who would normally get food at school and single people moving into hostels or B and B's all come to us for help".

Through their Local Community Fund, Barratt and David Wilson Homes donate £3,000 every month to local community causes and initiatives across the South West. Responding to the crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak, they decided to focus donations from this fund for the past three months to support some of those hit hardest by the outbreak.

As the devastating impact of the coronavirus crisis continues, foodbanks are seeing a huge increase in demand, with the Trussell Trust reporting an 81% increase in demand for emergency food parcels compared to the same period last year, including a 122% rise in parcels going to children. This is coupled with radically changing their systems of food collection and distribution in order to operate safely.

Louise Ware, sales director at David Wilson Homes South West said:

"As well as building much-needed high quality new homes, we believe passionately in building and supporting local communities. So we're pleased to be able to make a contribution that directly supports people living near our Tadpole Garden Village, Wichelstowe and other Wiltshire developments when they need it most."

Andrea Pilgrim, sales director at Barratt Homes Bristol Division added:

"The coronavirus outbreak has had such a devastating impact on so many people, in terms of their health or their finances, and sadly all too often on both. We are hugely grateful to the staff and volunteers at Swindon Food Collective and Devizes & District Foodbank for their incredibly valuable work and hope our contribution enables them both to continue and to spread that support widely."

As the country's largest housebuilder, Barratt Developments has been supporting the UK's efforts to get the economy on the road to recovery, following the country's lockdown, whilst safeguarding staff and customers. Barratt and David Wilson Homes have recently re-opened sales centres and show homes on an appointment only basis and with a range of safety measures and new working procedures in place which meet or exceed government, industry and public health agency advice. These include protective perspex screens, retractable barriers, strict social distancing and, where necessary, personal protective equipment (PPE), plus smart video- doorbell intercom systems.

The 5 star housebuilder has also re-opened many of its construction sites, introducing stringent new working practices and protocols including social distancing, temperature checks and changes to signage, site welfare facilities and compounds, in line with the latest guidance from Government, Public Health Authorities and the Construction Leadership Council.

Anyone interested in buying or viewing a new Barratt or David Wilson Home should contact their local sales office for more detail on specific developments and visit the Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes websites to book an appointment. For more information visit www.barratthomes.co.uk or www.dwh.co.uk  


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