Local business launches Alternative Advent Calendar to help foodbank

30th November 2017

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) in Rugby, UK has found a new way to encourage staff to help the local community. Its HQ, based in Railway Terrace, launched an ‘Alternative Advent Calendar’ at the start of this month, to bring some festive cheer to their local foodbank.

“The idea of the Alternative Advent Calendar is that instead of staff opening a door to receive a treat, they make a Christmas-themed donation to the Rugby Foodbank instead.” IChemE’s Director of Finance and Business, Jo Downham said.

The initiative has been running at IChemE’s Headquarters in Railway Terrace, home to around 70 members of staff, since 1 November. Donations will be delivered next week, to help struggling families in the countdown to Christmas.

In 2017, between April and September, Rugby Foodbank provided local people in crisis with 2,004 three-day food packages. During the same period in 2016, the figure was 1,601. The Christmas donations from IChemE, which include Christmas cake, biscuits, chocolates, crackers, sweets, selection boxes, stuffing, and custard, will be used by the foodbank volunteers to create Christmas hampers. The hampers will be delivered to over 200 needy families in the local area.

IChemE’s Chief Executive, Jon Prichard said:

“Most of our staff in Rugby are from the local area, or surrounding towns, and they are passionate about giving back to the local community. Rugby Foodbank is practically on IChemE’s doorstep, so it’s important that we support them, particularly during the festive period, which can be a hard and emotional time for low-income families.

“To see everyone involved in our Alternative Advent Calendar initiative is really encouraging, and I hope it helps those who need it most.”

IChemE’s Davis Building has been a familiar land mark in Rugby since it was renovated and extended in 1996. The Institution contributes approaching £1 million annually to the local economy in wages, as well as drawing on the services of local contractors and suppliers.

IChemE is a professional body that exists to advance chemical engineering worldwide. It has 44,000 members in 120 countries, and additional offices in Australia, London, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Singapore.