Jaguar worker Jay inspires food bank campaign
Jay Round, a production worker at Jaguar Land Rover in Halewood, had been making regular foodbank donations – but this Christmas he has really stepped up his efforts. Tony McDonough reports
For the last few months Jaguar Land Rover Halewood worker Jay Round has been making regular donations to his local foodbank in Knowsley.
But as Christmas approached, and with Knowsley Foodbank in desperate need of essential food items, Jay decided to step up his efforts which will now mean hundreds of families will be helped over the festive season.
Earlier in December Jay, from Huyton, launched a food bank takeover at Halewood as part of Jaguar Land Rover’s 12 Days of Christmas campaign, which gives employees an opportunity to support the community during the festive season.
He involved colleagues, converting one of the site’s People Centres, normally used for events and communications support, into a temporary pop-up foodbank for two days. The team at Halewood also made a collective employee pledge to donate a minimum of 1,200 items which the team smashed within the first few hours.
In total, employees have donated over 6,000 food and essential items in addition to cash donations which will help hundreds of local families in need. Jay said: “Being a dad myself, the thought of not being able to feed your family doesn’t bear thinking about but sadly this is a reality for so many people living in our city.
“I can’t believe children are going hungry on our doorstep, even when their parents are in work which is why I wanted to do something that would make a real difference to so many families. There is an incredible community spirit at Halewood so I knew our employees would really get behind the campaign and donate as much as they could.
“However setting up a temporary foodbank on our factory floor really helped us to put it at the forefront of their minds, as they walked past it every time they started or finished their shifts, which is why we were able to generate so many donations.
“I’ve been blown away by everyone’s support, as well as food, nappies and toiletries, employees have also handed over money to buy food with one colleague donating the entire pot collected by his teammates to celebrate his retirement – it’s been incredible.”
The initiative has been such a success the team at Jaguar Land Rover Halewood has now committed to keeping a dedicated foodbank collection point all year round to continue to support Knowsley foodbank beyond Christmas.
Simon Cowie, chief operating Officer at Knowsley Food Bank, added: “December is always a busy time for us but this year we’ve had more and more people in need of our services.
“We were expecting to feed 11,000 people this year but in fact, due to COVID-19, it will be around 60,000 – which is why we were getting desperately low on essential food items. These are hard times for everyone but it’s so heart-warming to see so many people come together from Jaguar Land Rover Halewood to support us again in our commitment.”