Businesses pitch in to give vital support to Lowestoft charities

Patrick (Patch) Johnson and Jason Benham (right) distributing hand sanitiser to groups around Lowestoft.

Patrick (Patch) Johnson, digital comms apprentice, and Jason Benham (right) distributing hand sanitiser donated by Loreal Paris to community groups and charities around Lowestoft. - Credit: Access Community Trust

A string of Lowestoft businesses have shown their community spirit by offering their time and money to help the town's charities.

With more places needing support more than ever, donations and offers of volunteer aid have benefitted organisations across town courtesy of Business in the Community (BITC).

Since the coronavirus outbreak, BITC’s National Business Response Network (NBRN) has helped the Lowestoft community access the urgent support that was needed to get through lockdown, enabling businesses to provide emergency supplies and food provision for vulnerable people.

Part of this support in Lowestoft comes from BITC’s Business Connectors programme, which trains business leaders and places them into deprived areas to build knowledge, skills and forge connections between the businesses and the community.

Over the past year, Business Connector Jason Benham - who is seconded by Kier Group to help connect business support for the town - has forged dozens of connections to support organisations in Lowestoft.

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Among recent donations that he has facilitated through the NBRN is hand sanitiser, from Loreal Paris, which has been distributed to Access Community Trust, Pathways Care Farm, Kirkley Community Pantry and Café, Re-utilise and other local charities to help them operate safely.

Furniture from East Coast College has also gone to Involve Active, after being delivered with help from Anglian Water and Kier Group, while water storage units from Techneat Engineering have been distributed to Pathways Care Farm to aid with rainwater harvesting.

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Mr Benham said: "The National Business Response Network has allowed me to have a wider platform to ensure the town of Lowestoft has been supported.”

Emma Ratzer, chief executive officer at Access Community Trust, added: “Business in the Community’s support and donations such as IT equipment, clothing and vast quantities of hand sanitiser have been instrumental in our ability to safely support our frontline team and the ever-increasing number of individuals and families that find themselves vulnerable and socially isolated within our communities.”

Simon Walters, connections manager at Business in the Community, said: “It’s a privilege to help communities across the east of England access much needed support.

"Despite facing difficult conditions themselves, many businesses have really stepped up.”

Skilled business volunteers are still needed in the Lowestoft and Kirkley area.

Any business willing to offer their volunteer support can register their interest online.

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