Festive cheer for foodbank after Specsavers steps in to cover charity’s Christmas costs

The founder of a Chesterfield-based foodbank has thanked her local Specsavers store after the team stepped in to cover the operating costs over Christmas.

Kelly Hall from The Chesterfield Food Hut launched the charity earlier this year in the wake of the pandemic, to provide food parcels for vulnerable people across Chesterfield and surrounding areas.
However, the group was struggling in recent weeks to meet the increased demand over the festive period. With costs spiralling, the Specsavers’ team agreed to donate £2,750 to help cover the charity’s overheads until February 2021.

Specsavers Chesterfield’s store director, Allissa Charlesworth, launched the fundraising campaign this week with her store colleagues after concerns the charity would struggle to meet demand for those unable to make ends meet over Christmas.

The money will be put towards covering costs and providing 250 hot meals per week to the vulnerable as well as the charity’s Christmas appeal to provide disadvantaged local children a present each.

Allissa says: ‘Kelly’s work is nothing short of remarkable and her unfaltering commitment to helping those in need across the area was something we immediately recognised and wanted to play a part in.

‘Budgets are often squeezed over this period at the best of times, but it must be really hard for families this year to cope with a Covid-Christmas.

‘We’re delighted that we can help fund the charity’s great work over the busy Christmas period, and we’ll be holding an in-store food and present donation drive to support the group further.’

Kelly Hall says: ‘2020 has been such a tough year for all of us, which is why I’m really proud to have been able to make a difference through the initiative.

‘The support from Specsavers, along with the other generous donations that we receive from our community, will really help to make sure we can continue this work well into the New Year.’

Specsavers stores throughout England remain open for all eye care and hearing needs in accordance with government guidelines. In line with NHS recommendations, Specsavers colleagues use personal protective equipment (PPE) throughout the stores, wear face masks and other PPE during tests, and all testing equipment and frames are thoroughly sanitised before and after each use.

Customers are also asked to request an appointment in advance by phone or online through the Specsavers website to help manage social distancing and minimise time spent in store.

To book an eye test at Specsavers Chesterfield visit or call 01246 222 334

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Christmas, Development, Home, UncategorisedTagged in , , , ,

Chatsworth Chefs Create Hundreds of Ready Meals to Support Families in Need

Chatsworth will be providing more than 1,200 freshly prepared ready meals to a Derbyshire food bank in the run up to Christmas to help support families in crisis.

Every week, 150 of the family favourite recipes created by the Chatsworth chefs are being delivered to the Jigsaw Food Bank. Operated by Church in the Peak, the food bank serves communities across Derbyshire and the Peak District.

More than 4,000 meals have already been provided to those in need since the initiative began earlier this year. Chatsworth initially contacted the food bank looking to donate produce unlikely to be used in its restaurants due to the lockdown. The chefs swung into action after finding out good quality ready meals would make a real difference to the people being referred to the food bank for help.

Since April, chefs in Chatsworth’s Carriage House Café kitchen, who usually prepare meals for visitors, began cooking a range of ready meals for those in need. The meals are then frozen and donated to the food bank in Matlock.

On the menu are family favourites developed by the Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop including cottage pie made with local beef, lasagne, macaroni cheese and mushroom and leek risotto, to name just a few.

Head of catering Chris Bailey-Jones said: “Being able to provide a service that plays to the strengths of our team at such a challenging time has been wonderful. We’ve all felt that by taking a little extra time in our working week we’ve been able to do something that really makes a difference to the local community.”

The meals are delivered weekly to the Jigsaw Food Bank which provides food to individuals and families in the local community who find themselves in a crisis situation.

The ready meals initiative is made possible with funding from Chatsworth alongside personal contributions from a number of individuals at Chatsworth. The Chatsworth Estate is represented on the Devonshire Group community forum. Chaired by Lord Burlington, son of the Duke of Devonshire, this group-wide forum was set up at the start of the Covid pandemic to reach out and support local communities.

Andrew Lavery, Chief Executive of the Chatsworth House Trust and Chief Financial Officer for the Devonshire Group, said: “As part of our commitment to our shared future we have been looking at how we can work with our local communities, and also help in the fight against the coronavirus. Donating to the food bank to help support families in these difficult times is important and we hope to continue this throughout the winter months.”

A large number of charitable organisations are supported by the Devonshire Group through donations of money, items and complimentary tickets, and by offering savings on commercial rates. In 2019, charitable giving across the Devonshire Group amounted to £334,452.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Christmas, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , ,

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