DS Smith Plymouth supports vulnerable children in the UK

With many schools around the world closed to help slow the spread of coronavirus, children are spending a lot more time at home. Read three great stories from the UK on how our employees are supporting their local communities.

On 31 March our Plymouth site was asked to support some of the most vulnerable children in their local community. Plant Manager Bob Hazell shares the story.

“DS Smith Plymouth were approached by the Dartmoor Multi Academy School Trust to see if we could support distribution of food to vulnerable children. Some 650 children from 17 schools rely on their school for the main meal of the day. We delivered 1000 boxes on Friday 3 April, replacing single use plastic bags. Our boxes will be continuously recycled to deliver weekly meal packs to all 650 children. DS Smith is proud to support our communities.

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“On 6 April, we received an email from Dartmoor Multi Academy School Trust, “Thank you very much for the delivery of 1000 boxes, this is gratefully received. As a Trust we are packing around 500 hampers of food for our pupils who are in receipt of Free School Meals, and also our vulnerable children.

“For many children, whilst at school their Free School Meal is the only meal they may eat in a day. By us distributing hampers during this unprecedented time, it means that these children and their families will have some food in the house to enable them to eat. The boxes will be used to distribute the hampers each week, with families returning their box the following week to be refilled again. The Trust appreciates the support you have given us to enable this to happen.”

 Over the past week, Dartmoor has seen a significant increase in the number of children in need of the free school meals, so we will be delivering a further 1000 in the coming week.

DS Smith Redditch and Kettering supply fruit to local hospitals:

Redditch, UK
Twice a week the Redditch site donates a basket of mixed fruit to their local hospital. Karen Collins, senior Customer Service Co-ordinator shares the story.
“As part of our continued support to the Healthy Heart Campaign and the current situation, here at Redditch we have decided to donate fruit to our local hospital. We will take one basket of mixed fruit to The Alexandra Hospital, to help show our support to the hard-working NHS staff and help them to stay healthy during this extremely stressful time.”
 
Organised through Lisa Baker, her friend Alison Robinson (Trust Lead Cancer Nurse and Bereavement Lead for Covid 19) and our fruit supplier Biddles Simply Fresh, this is being collected twice weekly on a Tuesday and Thursday. Our little way of saying Thank You at this extremely difficult time! 

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Kettering, UK

On 9 April the Kettering Sheet Feeding plant donated its 'Free fruit Thursday' to Kettering General Hospital to support some of the staff through the Easter weekend. 

The fruit boxes were gratefully received and a welcome healthy addition to all the Easter eggs they had received. Our Kettering site is now working with our Blunham site to provide some boxes for packs nurses and doctors at the hospital can take home after their long shifts.

Ahmet Huseyin said, “many are saving lives on the front line and we are all very proud of the work they are doing. There were five mixed fruit boxes that they were very pleased to have… They are also on a plea for any boxes that they can use for getting some products to staff, this we will work on next week.”

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