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Support The Community This Christmas

We continue to be proud of Wimbledon businesses and their recognition of their role locally to help those in need in the community.  Efforts have continued on from the pandemic to help those who are struggling for food, shelter, clothing or access to technology for education.

Morrisons Community Champion has donated toys to Dons Local Action Group, food to YMCA Wimbledon, plus stationary and treats to Polka Theatre. Harnham HQ have continued their annual tradition of volunteering at Wimbledon Foodbank and local pubs The Alexandra and the Prince of Wales pub recently offered a meal for two and a bottle of wine for YMCA’s annual Star Awards on 18th November, to help celebrate the team’s hard work and dedication to their role over the last year.

There are a range of ways that your business and employees can get involved to help those who may struggle this winter, including donating to local charities and organisations, who work to reach those in need. See ideas below.

Shoebox Appeal

Until 11th December, South Western Railway staff are running their annual Shoebox Appeal in Wimbledon Station, collecting donations to support Merton Faith in Action (FiA) and their homeless drop-in centre. Fill a shoebox full of items that might be useful for those who are homeless, e.g. toothbrushes, toothpaste, socks, scarves, hats and non-perishable foods, then drop off your box at Wimbledon Station ticket hall.

Toy Donation

The Entertainer are accepting donations of plastic children’s toys (must be in good condition) which will be rehomed via The Salvation Army and Morrisons Wimbledon has set up a Toy Donation Station at the front of the store where toys will be donated via Dons Local Action Group. The Community Giving Christmas Tree, beside the toy donation point, is another great way to donate.

Furniture, Food and Technology

Dons Local Action Group welcomes donations of laptops for young people who do not have access to the internet via a computer at home, as well as furniture and food items. Originally formed by fans of AFC Wimbledon during the Covid-19 pandemic, the charity continues to collect food and essential items outside Morrisons Wimbledon, to deliver to those in need in the local community.

Wimbledon Foodbank provides three days of nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred to them in crisis. They are encouraging the local community to purchase a supermarket gift card, which will allow a family to buy the essentials for a Christmas dinner. Check out their weekly update of the urgent items that are needed here and read more ideas about how you can help struggling families this Christmas here.

Other local organisations that could benefit donations or volunteering assistance include:

Thank You Businesses

Since the beginning of the pandemic, businesses in Wimbledon Town Centre have connected with the wider community, to do their bit. This has culminated in supplies for food banks, meals for the NHS, food parcels for the vulnerable and much more.

So we want to thank you – all town centre businesses, whether large, small, high street or office-based, for being part of the local community. Here are some of the things that the Wimbledon community has achieved throughout Covid-19:

  • Donating to Dons Local Action Group (DLAG)
    Through Dons Local Action Group businesses including Wilko, New Wimbledon Theatre, Morrisons, Tesco Metro, Leon, Garratt and Gauge, Wahaca, Little Waitrose,  Odeon and The Prince of Wales, donated stock to help those in need, such as via Wimbledon Foodbank. Centre Court Shopping offered morning food parcels for vulnerable people and delivered prescriptions, whilst Elys staff volunteered to give out Easter goodies. There have been countless other cafes, restaurants and food shops who have made significant contributions.
  • Feeding the NHS and the Vulnerable
    The Alexandra pub cooked up over 1,000 meals for NHS staff, as well as restaurants such as Aya Lebanese who offered up over 100 delicious falafel wraps. Domestic and General partnered with Salute the NHS group to serve nutritious meals to key frontline NHS workers. Lush gave out bath bombs to NHS workers. The Antoinette Hotel, The Old Frizzle, Wibbas Down, Wahaca and Leon each contributed towards meals for Merton’s Winter Night Shelter, Wimbledon Foodbank and Merton Covid Mutual Aid.

  • Repurposing Facilities to Combat Covid-19
    Coty one of the largest global beauty companies, repurposed their factories to produce hand sanitising gel, distributing products free of charge to medical and emergency staff. Firecracker Works, adapted their facilities to manufacture PPE for frontline workers. Leading food packaging manufacturer, RAP turned over its production line to manufacture disposable face shields, and empty office donated space to St Raphael’s Hospice.
  • Wimbledon Guild Charity
    Wimbledon High students donated Christmas presents to support children across Merton, with Sainsburys and Waitrose donating products. Domestic and General staff raised over £200 for the town-centre based charity.
  • Toy Donation
    The staff at Tesco Metro donated toys to Dons Local Action Group for children across the borough.
  • Donating Laptops
    CIPD HQ donated 50 devices to the ‘Keep Kids Connected‘ scheme run by Dons Local Action Group, to assist children and schools to support remote learning.
  • The Polka Refurbishment

    With limited funding and delays in construction, the Polka needed to raise more, Icon Solutions, a local office-based business stepped in and generously donated £100K towards the update.

For more examples of how businesses in Wimbledon assisted the community through Covid-19, click here.

Businesses Assist the Community Through Covid

Despite the challenges presented by Covid-19, Wimbledon businesses recognised the importance of their role in the community.

2020 saw a tremendous effort from Wimbledon businesses to support local and wider initiatives during the Coronavirus pandemic, from local foodbanks to the NHS, and our key workers.

Many businesses and organisations have made heroic efforts and done incredible work, to assist those who are vulnerable or in need within our town. Such responses could be seen from as early on as April 2020, with support from businesses continuing through lockdowns, Christmas and other periods of particular difficulty. With there being an ongoing need for assistance due to the pandemic, there is no sign of support from our businesses dwindling, as 2021 begins.

Here are just a few examples:

Christmas Donations

Students and their families from Wimbledon High generously donated Christmas presents for Wimbledon Guild’s Give a Gift at Christmas campaign, to support children across Merton who would otherwise receive no gift at all. 

Supermarkets Support

To make up for their annual Christmas party being cancelled, the staff of Tesco Metro in Centre Court Shopping Centre, donated toys and food to the Dons Local Action Group, who deliver such items to those in need in the local community. Local Sainsburys and Waitrose stores also donated various items to Wimbledon Guild over the Christmas period.

Office-based Businesses Chip In

We have also seen many of our office-based businesses in Wimbledon supporting local causes such as Domestic and General, who donated money to Wimbledon Guild that would have otherwise been spent on Secret Santa gift exchanges between colleagues and raised over £200. The headquarters of CIPD donated 50 devices to the Keep Kids Connected scheme run by the Dons Local Action Group, to assist children and schools who need such equipment to support remote learning.

 

Local businesses supporting local charities, in-turn supports the community, and strengthens the bonds in our area, meaning that despite these ongoing challenges, Wimbledon will return from Covid-19 as a stronger and more resilient town for all.

If your business can help the community throughout Covid-19 by donating food, drink, clothing, technology or financial support please get in touch with Kevin Gallagher at KevinG@lovewimbledon.org. For a list of local charitable organisations click here.