Dyson supports Malmesbury and District Foodbank, providing 73 local families with enough food for the summer holidays
Over 4,500 food items were donated by Dyson people and the James Dyson Foundation to local families in crisis.
It is estimated that more than a quarter of a million children live in poverty in the South West, and the impact of the pandemic risks pushing even larger numbers of children below the poverty line. With the school summer holidays upon us, feeding entire households can be a struggle and even impossible for some families, with many children going hungry as a result.
To tackle this and to support the communities closest to Dyson’s offices in Malmesbury, Hullavington, Bristol and Chippenham, Dyson employees collected and donated 4,660 items to the Malmesbury and District Foodbank in July, totalling 73 boxes to be distributed to families across the Malmesbury area. This was supplemented with funds from the James Dyson Foundation (JDF), used to buy additional food items to fill the boxes.
The scheme was led by two Dyson employees, Commercial Intern, Lewis Jones and Ben Dawes, Senior Commercial Manager in the Floorcare category at Dyson. “We started the food bank initiative as a response to our team wanting to give more back to the community at a local level,” says Lewis Jones. “Word of our scheme soon spread, and more people wanted to donate. Before we knew it the whole of Dyson UK were involved!”
Having surpassed their initial target of just 70 boxes, Lewis and Ben were overwhelmed by the generosity of their colleagues and surplus donations were supplied to foodbanks in Bristol and Swindon. “We are so proud that Dyson employees were able to come together during such a difficult time to support an amazing cause,” says Ben Dawes. “No child should have to worry about where they are getting their next meal.”
Above: Dyson employees Ben Dawes and Lewis Jones were overwhelmed by the generosity of their colleagues.
One box of donations – which contains a selection of packets and roughly 40 tins of a wide variety of food, including rice, vegetables, meatballs, squash and angel delight – is enough to provide one child with six week’s worth of meals. In fact, 3,629 tins were donated by Dyson people this summer – roughly the height of the Eiffel Tower when piled up.
“We always suspected that demand for our Summer Food Boxes this year was going to be bigger than ever,” says Gill Smith, Project Manager at Malmesbury and District Foodbank. “And it was – demand was nearly 30% up on last year”.
The Malmesbury and District Foodbank, supported by the Trussel Trust was started in 2014 and is a project run entirely by volunteers, working together towards stopping hunger in the local area. In 2020 alone, the organisation gave 1,377 emergency three-day food supplies to people in crisis, providing vital support to those who needed it most.
“With the amazing generosity of the Dyson employees and the JDF, we were able to meet every request with a huge box of food filled with a variety of items designed to provide enough to replace school meals for six weeks,” explains Gill Smith. “On behalf of the Trustees and the volunteers at the Foodbank, I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone at Dyson who brought in donations and packed the boxes for us – you did a brilliant job.”
Owing to the success of this year’s donation drive, Dyson will continue to work with and support local groups across a range of social impact programmes, giving back to the community that has been the company’s home for over 25 years.