13 October 2022 Company News, Employee Spotlight, Sustainability

SMS Volunteering Day shines light on food poverty amid cost-of-living crisis

SMS NICE foodbank team
As part of our commitment to ‘Levelling Up’ and sustainability, a priority focus of our various social responsibility efforts is targeted on communities that need help the most, particularly in deprived areas close to where we operate as a business around the UK.

With this in mind, a team of SMS volunteers recently spent the day at Bolton NICE foodbank, a charity that provides support to children, families, and individuals who are experiencing difficulties.

A group of SMS’s senior leadership team were put under the diligent care of longstanding charity worker, Martin. He’s the driving force behind Bolton NICE and is helped by a huge number of committed volunteers who manage the foodbank, the warehouse for free recycled goods, and the charity shop. There’s also volunteers who lift heavy furniture, collect the goods, and Malcom, who at age 86, visits six days a week to shred the cardboard boxes that goods arrive in.

With so much activity required to efficiently run such a longstanding community project, the SMS team were split into groups. John, Kirsty, Claire, John and Simon set to work sorting tins and food items for the foodbank.

Judy, Heather, Emma, Hayley, and Nick meanwhile focused on improving the accessibility of the warehouse which houses a range of furniture, clothes, household goods, toys, tools, and electrical items that can be picked up for free by people in need. Any goods with a higher value are sold to raise funds in the adjoining charity shop.

Dean and Chris put their DIY skills to the test by hanging pictures in the adjoining charity shop.

Hayley Cloud, Director of Data Management said:

“We are in the comfortable position of being surrounded by colleagues who ‘put our people first’, and for me that meant extending this approach into the wider community. To see the amount of good work these guys do at Bolton NICE, and to have a small part on the day in helping make a difference to our community has made us all proud. It’s really opened my eyes to the ways we can all support our ESG commitments and take care of our wellbeing and of others.”

Sustainability at SMS

Read more about our Environmental, Social and Governance commitments at our Sustainability section.