St. Modwen, the master developer behind the 1,500-home new development of Kingsgrove in Wantage, has donated £10,000 to support two local charities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The developer has donated £5,000 to Sustainable Wantage, the community action group that operates The Mix community space in Wantage town centre, to help it continue running its Community Fridge provision.
With coronavirus forcing the centre’s closure in March, its Community Fridge quickly transitioned into a home delivery service, with its team of 25 volunteers delivering free food to 266 families in the local area – many of which are vulnerable, shielding or experiencing financial difficulties during lockdown.
Providing essential free food to those most in need, The Mix has made almost 2,500 deliveries since the end of March, distributing over eight tonnes of food that would have otherwise gone to waste. The group is also looking to work with local pre-schools, helping provide snacks and meal ingredients as children return to education.
Jo Harvey, Manager of The Mix, said: “Our Community Fridge is wholly reliant on grant funding and with many families stretched in these difficult times, a regular source of free food is a lifeline. We are incredibly grateful to St. Modwen for its donation, which will go a long way in keeping the service running and helping us serve the members of our community that are most in need.”
St. Modwen has also donated £5,000 to The Sweatbox Youth Centre, which runs vital support services for isolated young people in Wantage and the surrounding areas. Unable to open its doors due to COVID-19, the Sweatbox team is providing online wellbeing checks, 1:1 phone calls and group engagement sessions to its 385 young members – all while increasing its operation to provide additional support throughout the holidays and into the next academic year.
Georgia Hicks, Youth Work Manager at Sweatbox, said: “At the moment, our services have become more crucial than ever. Feedback tells us that young people in our community are feeling quite isolated and lonely, and we know that it is key that we are engaging as much as possible with them.
“With our team only employed to work during term times, this donation will help us pay youth workers to run sessions throughout the holidays and contribute to staff training to help us meet an increased need for mentoring and mental health support.”
The donations are the first from St. Modwen’s £150,000 Community Impact Fund, created to support grassroots charities and community groups that make a significant impact in their communities.
Will Bayston, Senior Development Manager at St. Modwen, said: “Our work in Wantage isn’t just about the creation of homes, but to help create and support the community. That is why we are pleased to be furthering our commitment to the area by teaming up with these two valuable local charities to help ensure they can continue with the fantastic support they offer in the Wantage community. Both organisations have had to quickly adapt in the face of COVID-19 and have continued to make a significant impact on people’s lives.”