Fountain Foodbank and the Downpatrick branch of the Simon Community received a welcome boost from Phoenix Natural Gas this week as the company helped ‘warm up’ the charity’s Christmas Hamper Appeals by delivering much welcome supplies for families in need this Christmas.
Working with the respective charities, staff at Phoenix Natural Gas contributed boxes of much needed items including festive treats, non-perishable food and household products which will be distributed to dozens of families in time for Christmas day.
Jonathan Martindale, Executive Director at Phoenix Natural Gas, said, “For the past year Phoenix Natural Gas has been working closely with the Downpatrick community as we construct the natural gas network in the town and bring the many benefits of natural gas to around 5,000 properties in the local area.
“Phoenix Natural Gas has a long history of engaging in corporate social responsibility initiatives to add deeper value to the communities that it serves. Since work commenced in Downpatrick at the beginning of this year, we have been delighted to support various community initiatives including the East Down Athletics Club’s Rollercoaster Races, the Down Time Festival’s ‘Night at the Museum’ event and the Three Lakes Run, as well as supporting various sporting clubs such as Downpatrick Bowling Club and the Down Special Olympics.
“With work continuing in Downpatrick town centre, Phoenix Natural Gas is committed to continuing to embed itself within the community and, at this special time of year, we thought there is no better way to do this than to support a local hamper appeal. This year we decided to support two fantastic charities in their efforts to ensure a happy Christmas for all local families and we are delighted to lend our support to such a worthy cause.”
Shirley Lennon, Volunteer Coordinator at Fountain Foodbank, said, “Fountain Foodbank was established in March 2015 and since then we have been providing food for people in need, whilst also offering a point of refuge and a listening ear for those who may need our support. We are made up of volunteers from right across the community and to date we have helped over 6,000 people.
“As a charity, we rely solely on donations to keep the food bank running, which for many families acts as the main or only source of food. At Christmas time in particular we see an increase in demand for our services as more families find themselves in difficult circumstances, which is why each year we launch our Christmas Hamper appeal
“We are overwhelmed with the support we receive from local businesses and the community for the Hamper Appeal, with many not only collecting items themselves but also acting as drop off points for the wider Downpatrick community to also donate. We were delighted when Phoenix Natural Gas contacted us to lend their support to our Hamper Appeal and also to the Simon Community appeal, who are one of our key partners.
“Not only will this bring additional vital goods but it has also helped increase awareness of both charities and reach a wider audience with our appeal. We would like to thank the staff at Phoenix Natural Gas for their support and we look forward to continuing to work with the company in the future.”
Jonathan Martindale from Phoenix Natural Gas, is pictured delivering much needed hamper items to (L-R) Ann Millar, Barry Redhead, Paul Connelly, Robert Shields, John Millar from the Simon Community, and Shirley Lennon, Volunteer Coordinator at Fountain Foodbank.