The food distribution hub for the #BrumTogether campaign has relocated from Ladywood Community Centre to Aston University Students’ Union building while its doors are closed to students.
Aston University has been running a volunteer support group to help students living in accommodation, in particular overseas students, who might not have known how to reach out for help if they needed it.
As the number of volunteers grew, the group realised it could help on a much wider scale, and when The Active Wellbeing Society got in touch, the University agreed to offer space in its Students’ Union building as a new location for the distribution centre.
As of 17 May, 21,814 food parcels, 6,836 cooked meals, 1,371 dedicated hours of phone support and 9,303 phone calls have been managed by #BrumTogether. The distribution centre has also provided partners with 458 bulk food orders which have also led to 7,000 weekly food parcels.
Ellie Chambers, vice president welfare at Aston University Students’ Union, said: “When we were approached about the project, we knew we wanted to help out in some way and this was an initiative that not only benefited our own students but also the wider Birmingham community.
“We have an amazing building in the heart of the city and it was a perfect opportunity to put it to good use during these testing times.”
Making a difference
Saskia Hansen, deputy vice-chancellor engagement at Aston University said: “We are delighted that we have been able to provide support for such a much-needed service for the city. We now have over 200 staff and student volunteers supporting local projects and helping to run the distribution centre. We are so proud that our Aston community is making a difference to residents across Birmingham.”
Karen Creavin, Chief Executive of The Active Wellbeing Society, said: “Access to Aston University enables us to handle the large volume of food coming in every week and also to process donated food already in the system. These premises enable food to go out to people most in need in the safest and most efficient manner.
“Partners like The Real Junk Food Project, FareShare and an amazing collaboration of faith groups, together with The Active Wellbeing Society, are all working together with a whole load of fantastic volunteers to get food out to the city through to the foodbanks or directly to individuals. It’s a tremendous collaboration between different organisations in the city.”
If you would like to find out more about #BrumTogether or need food, hygiene, baby or children’s supplies, visit https://theaws.co.uk/coronavirus/
To make a donation (all money received will go directly to the purchase of food items, hygiene packs, baby packs and activity packs for kids) visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/brumtogether