SWARCO Traffic has launched the SWARCO Traffic Ltd Business Fund, a new initiative created to support local businesses and charitable organisations experiencing financial hardship caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Following an application period, SWARCO has selected three organisations – Food for Thought Darlington, Toddington Childcare and Forest School and The Wild Hare Café – who will each receive a donation of £5,000.
Jeremy Cowling, SWARCO’s Vice President of ITS (Northern Europe & UK), said: “Although this year has been a particularly difficult one for everyone, we hope that these donations can make an impact in supporting those that need it most. From financial hardship, to ensuring children and future generations do not suffer any long-term affects to their education and making sure that we will continue to be able to do those ‘normal’ social activities such as going for a coffee that have such a big impact on our mental health and wellbeing. This is a long-term plan for us, and we hope to continue to support small businesses and organisations in the years to come to.”
Food for Thought Darlington, under 10 miles away from SWARCO’s head office in Melsonby, is a registered Community Interest Company working to tackle the issues of food waste and food poverty in the Darlington area, working with supermarkets and other local business to re-distribute surplus food and supplies to those in need. It is currently focusing on a direct delivery service to more than 60 households a week, providing food and other essential items to people with a range of support needs including the elderly, people with disabilities, asylum seekers and low-income families.
Toddington Childcare and Forest School, situated approximately 15 miles from SWARCO’s operations hub in Milton Keynes, is a registered charity that provides Early Years education, as well as breakfast and after school clubs for children. As with the vast majority of education providers, the first national lockdown in March forced the organisation to close. It has since reopened with extensive protective and safety measures in place, as well as the introductions of ‘bubbles’. The funding from SWARCO will help the charity survive and ensure it can continue to provide a safe and fun educational setting for children in the area.
The Wild Hare Café in Kirkby Stephen has been open for over 20 years and is seen as the hub of the local area, supporting the local community and its culture. Its owners carried out a full refurbishment and re-design of the café just before the first national lockdown, which caused the café to close for over 100 days. This understandably had a significant impact on finances. However, SWARCO’s donation is being used to improve the café’s accessibility, with a new wheelchair access, so it can continue to serve the local community and provide a peaceful and welcome place to enjoy.