A family-run business, and official partner of Burnley Together, has found a unique solution to offer invaluable support to the local community during lockdown.
From the outset of the pandemic in March 2020, Country Range Group member Birchall Foodservice, located at Burnley Bridge Business Park, has donated food to BFC in the Community to make up emergency food parcels, worked with Burnley Leisure to support the summer holiday scheme, collected and donated goods for the Christmas present appeal and provided tens of thousands of pounds worth of food to make Christmas dinners for those in the community.
Due to school, hotel and restaurant closures brought about by the latest lockdown, demand for Birchall Foodservice’s hospitality and education services has fallen, resulting in a number of employees being able to offer more time for community projects.
After being made aware that the number of calls being made to the Burnley Together helpline was increasing once again during lockdown, Birchalls kindly offered to temporarily place members of their team within the charity, helping facilitate the essential work which provides a lifeline for many vulnerable people in Burnley.
Once they had completed their training, two members have now been placed full-time on the Burnley Together phone lines, with the other three being available to help with any ad hoc tasks that are needed. In the first week in their role, the Burnley Together team had 330 referrals to the service that were all responded to, an increase of 80 contacts from the previous week, as well as contacting those on the NHS shielding list and other vulnerable people that the service supports.
Through supporting the call centre, the Birchalls team have gained a huge appreciation for the work that Burnley Together do and are now looking to get involved with even more projects in the community.
Hayley Spear at Birchalls says, “Our business, like many others around the country, has taken a huge hit due to the lockdown restrictions. We support local charities throughout the year, and it was important we played our part during this pandemic, offering support however we can. Like Burnley Leisure, we have a can-do attitude and a wonderful team who are willing to adapt and volunteer their time to support the people in Burnley who most need our help.”
Alicia Foley at Burnley Together says, “Through this wonderfully kind gesture, we’re able to really utilise the team from Birchalls and provide even more help to those who need it through our services here at Burnley Together. We’re incredibly grateful for the support and it’s brilliant to see how local businesses and charities are working together to make a real difference to people’s lives”