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Our first agency volunteering day with Trussell Trust Kingston

Posted by Zoe McFarland on 19th August 2022

At the end of last year, I was excited to announce our new fifth value: Do Good. This value focuses on how we can make a positive difference to our clients, community, and society, and support movements that make change.

I’m really passionate about living more sustainably and supporting charities close to my heart so I didn’t hesitate to lead our Do Good agency initiatives.

Assisting our local Kingston community is really important to Wildfire, and we have centralised our social responsibility efforts through a partnership with Trussell Trust Kingston. Over the next 12 months, and beyond, we will be volunteering, raising money, and donating in-demand food and hygiene products.

Taking action for a just future

For those who don’t know, Trussell Trust is working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK, which is only more prevalent right now.

The charity provides food banks and extended services to support local communities in times of crisis. Long term it is working to help people to break free from poverty and resolve the crises they face so they don’t need to use a food bank again in the future.

To support this goal, Kingston Trussell Trust works with City Changer Projects and Your Local Pantry Franchise, to provide a next step for people to move away from relying on a food bank. Food is available on a membership basis at a subsided cost, and fruit and vegetables are always free to assist healthy eating.

Building a fairer society together

In August 2022, Kingston received a location for its first pantry within Tolworth Recreation Centre. The new Kingston Food Pantry Manager, Susan Bence, had a big task on her hands and just one month to renovate the space!

While Trussell Trust has an army of regular volunteers it needed ‘all hands on deck’ to transform the unloved area into an inviting, modern food store — and we were keen to help. The space had previously been used for storage and a staff lunch area and needed some serious TLC!

The food pantry shop space when we arrived

The food pantry storage room when we arrived

On one of the hottest days of the year we scrubbed, hoovered, scraped, painted, built furniture, and more. In just one day the area was transformed, with new shelving, crates, appliances, and produce areas ready to go.

The team getting stuck in

A new food pantry opens

Following our whirlwind renovation, pantry manager Susan supervised the fitting of a new sink, painted a beautiful mural, and installed a unit her husband made for the fresh fruit and vegetables.

Now, every Thursday, members of the Kingston Food Pantry can visit Susan and take that step from using the food bank to choosing from the pantry produce, and hopefully then shopping in supermarkets in the future.

I’m really proud of how our team came together to make such a big difference in our local community in just one day.

The food pantry shop space transformed

The food pantry mural entrance and fresh produce shelving unit

Stay tuned for more of our activities with Trussell Trust and individual charity work my colleagues are passionate about coming soon.

Zoe McFarland

Zoe has over six years’ B2B technology PR experience across a variety of sectors, including artificial intelligence, cyber security, IT software, marketing technology, 3D printing and Unified Communications. With a flair for media relationships, Zoe has also honed her skills in other complementary areas, including international agency network management, events co-ordination and product launches. Zoe prides herself on delivering stand-out results for clients and immerses herself in their businesses to make sure the right message gets to the right media. Always on top of the latest trends, Zoe has a love for news-jacking and a passion for injecting new ideas for maximum campaign impact. Zoe is also the office panda enthusiast – not that it would take you long to notice once you see her desk!