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Premierline in the community
Morecambe Bay Foodbank

28 November 2023    |    By: Nathan Bentley

At Premierline, we are fortunate enough to be able to allow our team members time during their working day to volunteer for causes that they are passionate about. Everyone at Premierline is allowed to use up to 20 hours per year during normal working hours to volunteer for a cause or charity, many of which involves causes that play very important roles in our local community.

Through the volunteer hours scheme, staff can learn new skills, build new networks and are able to take a bit of time out to do something that they enjoy, which could include taking part in a local beach clean-up, walking rescue dogs, visiting the local hospice or in Paddy’s case, volunteering at the local foodbank.

Read on to find out more about Paddy, and the work he’s doing to help those in need in our local community.

Premierline team member

For four years, Paddy has volunteered as a Trustee at Morecambe Bay Foodbank, a local service which provides emergency food parcels for the whole of the Lancaster, Morecambe and South Lakes area.

We asked Paddy about his experiences and why he chooses to use his Premierline volunteer hours to help this local cause, read on to find out more.

"We provide emergency food parcels for people in crisis. This can be for a wide range of people including those who have recently lost their job, people struggling with substance/gambling addiction, people leaving abusive relationships or other vulnerable people and families. At the moment we are seeing a lot of people struggling with the increased cost of living. This has impacted not only the amount of food parcels we distribute but it also negatively impacts food donations as people can't afford to donate as much as they normally would.

Away from the core food distribution we've recently received funding for a pathfinder program which is focused on working with schools and families of children on free school meals. This is in its infancy, but we hope to implement some preventative measures to hopefully ease food poverty in Lancaster and Morecambe. The result of this project will be reviewed by The Trussell Trust and possibly be implemented nationally."

"I'm a Trustee which is basically a director of a charity. My main role is assisting with decision making on the strategic direction of the Foodbank. I'm involved on our finance committee, which is in short, our group for making decisions on our finances and setting budgets. It's not the most exciting role within the organisation but it is essential to make sure we can continue our service. We have four full time staff and a large group of volunteers, so I also get involved with HR related stuff from time to time. I occasionally help out with delivering food too if we're short staffed."
"The main thing for me is giving something back to the community and helping people who are going through a tough time. It's hard to put into words what it's like to visit someone who can't afford food particularly if they have children, so being able to ease the pressure on them is very rewarding. We have grown significantly since the COVID pandemic and it has been enjoyable helping manage us go from a small operation, with one part time staff member working out of a church hall, to a large operation open five days a week, employing four full time members of staff and operating out of a large warehouse. I loosely worked out if we sold the food we distributed we'd turnover c. £3,000,000 - being part of the team that's helped manage this growth has been very rewarding for me."
"The most important thing would be to pick something you're passionate about. It is volunteering so the reward comes from doing good for others as opposed to financial gain. Additionally make sure you have the time to commit to it!"

As a large employer in Lancaster, we believe we have a responsibility to provide help and assistance to charities and local causes to help improve lives for those in our community. By providing our volunteer hours scheme to staff members, we’re able to commit countless hours to providing assistance to groups that need our help. In the past, we’ve provided volunteers for a range of local groups but are always looking to source new opportunities and new causes for our team to get involved with.

If you work for a charity, cause or community group and could do with an extra pair of hands, email to find out more about our volunteer hours scheme and other charity fundraising initiatives. We’re proud to be able to play a small part in helping the local causes that work so hard to improve the lives of many across the Lancaster and Morecambe area.

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Nathan Bentley
Article by
Nathan is a content writer at Premierline with over 5 years’ experience, specialising in news and current affairs which impact small businesses across various industries. Nathan is passionate about discussing topics that affect the workplace, covering everything from human resources, to emerging and disruptive technologies. In the past, Nathan has written for a number of different businesses, working within a wide range of industries from financial technology to hospitality and even men’s fashion.
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