SUEZ recycling and recovery UK has, in agreement with Doncaster Council, used this year’s SUEZ Doncaster Environment Fund, of just under £15,000, to make two donations to help NHS staff and the most vulnerable across the borough.
The two donations were, £1,500 given to the ‘For the Love of Scrubs’ project, run by the charity Refurnish, to pay for materials for scrubs and other PPE for Doncaster Royal Infirmary. The remaining £13,363 has been donated to Doncaster’s Community Hub which was set up to support the most vulnerable in the local community. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 the hub has been focusing its efforts on those who are suffering hardship as a result of the necessary Government lockdown, particularly providing emergency food and collecting medication as well as support to food banks who have seen a significant increase in demand.
The SUEZ Doncaster Environment Fund has been created from revenue generated from the recycling of textiles and electrical items in Doncaster. Given the unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic the decision was taken to use this year’s fund for direct donations to projects related to the pandemic, rather than running an application process. As social distancing is set to continue for some time to come it would have been difficult for projects to apply and then use the monies for environmental projects, that often rely on getting large numbers of volunteers together. By making these two donations the money can be put to very good use immediately.
The SUEZ Doncaster Environment Fund will be open again for applications from local groups next year.
SUEZ’s Contract Manager, Victoria Crabtree, said: “We have a long history in Doncaster and are delighted to be able to play our part in the community, especially at such a difficult time. We are confident that being able to get this money out quickly to where it’s needed most will make a big difference to hundreds of families that are struggling.”
Cllr Chris McGuinness, Cabinet Member for Communities, the Voluntary Sector and Environment, said: “We would like to thank SUEZ for this contribution to our ongoing community efforts during this COVID-19 emergency.
“Doncaster Community Hub is an invaluable resource for people in communities across our borough and is making a great difference supporting our vulnerable residents during these challenging times.
“With the support of our partners and volunteers we are helping our most vulnerable families and residents with a whole range of essential tasks from delivering food and picking up prescriptions to checking people are well. This additional funding will also help to purchase essential food and goods for the food banks across the borough.
“The community effort since the Hub launched on 23 March has been astonishing. Just at the Hub, we have responded to nearly 12,000 helpline calls, proactively contacted more than 9,300 potentially vulnerable residents to offer support, provided over 2,400 food parcels and collected and delivered over 2,000 prescriptions to residents who needed them. Thousands of vulnerable people have also been supported by volunteers and local groups in their community.
Andy Simpson, Chief Executive, Refurnish said: “Doncaster and Bassetlaw For the Love of Scrubs is doing much more than making scrubs. It has developed a community of vulnerable and isolated people and gelled them into a committed volunteer workforce.
“SUEZ kick started the funding for fabric and materials with which volunteers are staving off mental frustrations and turning this negative energy into positive creativity that is enabling a much wider community benefit. Everyone who participates has their own reason for wanting to support our beloved NHS. The stories are truly amazing.
“The 411 volunteers, led by Kerry Burton, Claire McConville and Elsie Tinker are encouraged and inspired by the feedback they are receiving from GP’s, Nurses and Health Care Workers who are desperate for their products.”