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Sharon volunteers at Lifecentre & The Bread and Butter Thing

Tom Sweeney

Tom Sweeney | Marketing Assistant

Tuesday 7th Jan, 2020

At PayStream we are committed to making a difference in our local community through a variety of methods, such as our volunteering incentive which sees PayStream staff taking time out of their working day to support local charities. Our latest volunteer was our Company Formations Lead, Sharon Lemon, who was recently lucky enough to help out at not one but two charities!

Lifecentre

The first charity, Lifecentre is based in Salford. Lifecentre are a Christian charity that work alongside local people to transform the community by providing food as well as a whole host of wellbeing support such as counselling and legal advice. They are also a member of the Salford Food Share Network through which it works in co-operation with food crisis organisations across the city in the hopes that one day nobody in Salford will sleep hungry.

Sharon helped prepare all of the food that had been donated and bought, ready for the day ahead. Along with other volunteers, Sharon helped visitors pack their chosen food items into bags, which she’s told us was a lot more work than it sounds!

Sharon spoke with Yvonne, the charity leader on the day who has been at Lifecentre for almost 10 years, even winning a heart of Salford Award for her work with the charity. Every week, Yvonne goes out to buy fresh produce to be used along with the donations and help which she receives from the local community.

“[Yvonne] told me the way it all works and who they get donations from, it is a very rewarding job for her and she really cares about all the customers, she knows all their names and what issues they have. All this on top of having some major health issues herself. Very inspiring lady.”

At the end of the day, Sharon assisted further by tidying and packing up the remaining food, keeping so busy that she didn’t even get the chance to make a brew!

The Bread and Butter Thing

The second charity that Sharon volunteered at is The Bread and Butter Thing based in Stretford who deliver food to 17 hubs throughout 5 boroughs in Greater Manchester. Currently, The Bread and Butter Thing is delivering approximately 12 tonnes of surplus food a week – this equates to 30,000 meals a week or a mammoth 1,500,000 a year. By offering food at a hugely discounted rate, it is estimated that members of The Bread and Butter Thing are collectively saving over £25,000 per week. 

When Sharon arrived at a school in Monton, she helped unpack the donations from the van and set about sorting them into the different categories from dry, chilled through to fresh. After all the members of The Bread and Butter Thing had made their purchases it was time to pack up and move onto the next location, Moss Side.

Sharon cleaned the empty boxes with Jamie, one of the charity’s managers. Jamie has been working at The Bread and Butter Thing for over two years and goes to collection points to pick up all of the food before visiting each hub. He told Sharon that he enjoys his role and feels that he makes a huge difference to those he supports.

“It was hard work but I would like to help again if the opportunity arose. My perspective has not changed, but it made it all the more real about the difficulties a lot of people close to us face in life.”

PayStream have partnered with Benefacto, an organisation that works with small charities across Manchester which benefit from having one off, professional volunteers come along to help out with sessions during working hours. So over the coming months, even more PayStream employees will have the opportunity to volunteer through Benefacto and we’re excited to share their experiences with you on our blog. Watch this space!

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Related article - Kelly and Vicky Volunteer at Trinity House 

We’re very excited to have partnered with Benefacto, an organisation that works with small charities across Manchester which benefit from having one off, professional volunteers come along to help out with sessions during working hours. Two members of our accounts team were recently given the opportunity to spend the day in Rusholme volunteering at the Trinity House Community Resource Centre.

What did Kelly and Vicky get up to?
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