everyone.connected | 16 Dec 2022

How Vodafone has been helping the Trussell Trust at Christmas

Food bank charity and Vodafone everyone.connected partner, the Trussell Trust, held a fundraising Winter Carol Concert at Southwark Cathedral on 30 November, while Vodafone employees have been volunteering for the charity.

Introducing the carol concert, which was attended by supporters, partners, volunteers, and staff, Trussell Trust CEO Emma Revie said: “We will build a future where none of us needs a food bank, because none of us will allow it.”

The evening, sponsored by Vodafone, was intended to be a symbol of hope and the start of a movement for change on behalf of the Trussell Trust, which runs a network of 1,300 food banks around the UK.

With carols by candlelight, poems and the sharing of lived experience of using and running a food bank at Christmas, it was a stark reminder that community is more important now than ever.

Trussell Trust CEO Emma Revie speaking at the charity's Winter Carol Concert in Southwark Cathedral, London
Trussell Trust CEO Emma Revie speaking at the charity’s Winter Carol Concert in Southwark Cathedral, London

All funds raised from the carol concert will help the Trussell Trust to continue its important work over the course of the winter period and into next year.

The cost-of-living crisis has affected people’s ability to donate to charities, but the tightening of purse strings also means less food is donated to food banks – this, combined with ever-increasing demand, is making this winter particularly tough for the charity.

For the first time ever, food banks are giving out more food than is being donated, the charity says.

Vodafone is working to ensure the charity is supported through what one food bank manager described as “the worst autumn and winter ever”. Worse even than at the height of Covid.

Vodafone employee Sonia Leijenaar and her nephew volunteering for the Trussell Trust food bank charity at a Tesco store
Vodafone employee Sonia Leijenaar and her nephew volunteering for the Trussell Trust food bank charity at a Tesco store

As a reminder of just how important the charity’s work is, this quote from someone who has needed to use a food bank says it all: “In times where you may feel alone, having lost your dignity, just walking through the doors of a food bank, knowing someone is there to help you, feels like an angel has come to rescue you.”

Giving something back

Over the course of the first weekend of December, Vodafone employees across the UK volunteered to help the Trussell Trust’s Tesco food collection.

The volunteering day consisted of asking shoppers to pick up items to donate at the end of their shop and packing food bags to go out to those accessing a food bank.

“We had an incredible volume of donations,” said one Vodafone volunteer greeting shoppers. “One couple turned up with a whole trolley of bags. Some people would give one tin and apologise they couldn’t give more, which was both heart-breaking and heart-warming.”

'We've provided connectivity to 1 million people in need - now we want to reach 4 million'

As Vodafone reaches its goal to provide connectivity to one million digitally excluded people by the end of 2022, Vodafone’s UK Chief Corporate Affairs & Sustainability Officer explains why the campaign is so important and how the company plans to extend it.

Vodafone’s everyone.connected campaign provides free SIM cards – loaded with 40GB data, unlimited calls and texts – through the Trussell Trust’s network of food banks, to help those facing financial hardship to stay connected.

Vodafone recently announced its commitment to continue tackling digital exclusion by helping four million people cross the digital divide by 2025.

If you would like to volunteer for The Trussell Trust or make a donation, click on the links and follow the instructions.

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