Charity launches community appeal to help the most vulnerable this Christmas

Vulnerable people across Nottinghamshire are to be offered a helping hand this Christmas thanks to local charity Switch Up.

The Switch Up Community Appeal is calling on businesses and individuals to come together to help vulnerable people through the harsh winter months, as the rising cost of living makes even the most basic supplies unaffordable for many.

From 28 November to 31 January, Switch Up will be collecting financial contributions towards food parcels which will be distributed across Nottingham and Mansfield.

The charity is also inviting physical donations of food, toiletries, books, new toys and gifts.

Marcellus Baz BEM, founder and CEO of Switch Up, said: “For the first time in the charity’s history we have a waiting list of individuals and families that need help. In addition to the mentoring and mental health support we provide to young people, we have been working to help anyone that is struggling with the daily cost of living. This additional service has been necessary since the pandemic and has had to come from our existing pot of funding. It was therefore essential to launch the Switch Up Community Appeal for a second Christmas to meet this demand.

“It’s important to note that we aren’t doubling up on the efforts of Nottingham’s fantastic food banks who we already work closely with. We will be working with schools, colleges and community groups to identify anyone slipping through the cracks; those who may be afraid to speak up. It’s important we reach them quickly during a season when depression and negative mental health peaks. Just £35 is enough to feed a family of four for a week so we’re encouraging donations both big and small.”

Packages of new or unused toys, long-life food, toiletries and gifts can be dropped off at either of Switch Up’s centres in Mansfield or Nottingham.

Monetary donations can also be made via the charity’s donation page. To provide meals for up to week, Switch Up suggests a donation of £35 for a family parcel or £25 for a couple or single person.

A raft of Nottinghamshire businesses and organisations including Nottingham City of Literature, Mansfield District Council, Lindley’s Autocentres, Oakfield Construction, Cartwright Communications, Chord Consult, Nottingham College and 200 Degrees will be supporting Switch Up by donating their time, collecting funds and items for the appeal.

Businesses or individuals interested in getting involved are encouraged to contact Janet Cooper.

Hannah Trevarthen, director, Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, said: “Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature is honoured to once again be part of this wonderful project to help the most vulnerable in our city. Our ethos – to build better futures with words – is tied to the same values Switch Up has long been informed by: we need to inspire to improve lives. Working with them on this project to bring books, as gifts, to those who otherwise would not have access to them is very much the spirit of the season, and the spirit of Nottingham’s determination to help those most in need through collaboration and shared values.”

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