Phoenix Group announces donations to Cyrenians, Social Bite and the Trussell Trust.
Insurance firm Phoenix Group has donated £90,000 to charities working to feed homeless and vulnerable people during the coronavirus pandemic.
Cyrenians and Social Bite have each been given £20,000 by the company to support their services in Scotland, while the Trussell Trust has received £50,000 to fund food banks across the UK.
All three charities have scaled up their operations during the pandemic in order to help some of society’s most disadvantaged people.
Cyrenians has repurposed its community cook school into a production kitchen, providing an extra 7,000 meals a week to vulnerable families in Edinburgh, Falkirk and the Lothians. Staff are also remotely supporting families struggling with relationship breakdowns and older people who feel isolated from their communities.
Ewan Aitken, Cyrenians CEO, said the additional cash would allow the charity to continue to support those most at-risk during the pandemic.
He added: “At the start of this crisis, we knew that adapting our services and responding to a much higher level of demand would stretch our resources. As we come out of lockdown, and into whatever the ‘next normal’ may bring, it’s vitally important that people can continue to access the support they need to flourish.
"We are very grateful that Phoenix, who have been supporters of our work since before this crisis hit, were quick to reach out to us and offer generous additional support, allowing us to adapt our services and continue supporting those most at-risk in these challenging times.”
Social Bite is also working to help those struggling with homelessness, providing temporary accommodation and basic essentials. Social Bite cafes deliver 6,000 emergency food packs each weekday and free daily takeaway for 160 people from cafes in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.
Josh Littlejohn, Social Bite CEO and co-founder, said the donation from Phoenix Group had already made a “substantial social impact”.
“As a result of their support, we have been able to produce and distribute thousands of meals across Scotland, ensuring the most vulnerable individuals and families are able to access fresh food with dignity during this challenging time,” he added.
Samantha Stapley, chief operating officer at the Trussell Trust, also thanked Phoenix for their donation, saying: “As the coronavirus outbreak develops, more people are likely to need a food bank’s help. Our teams are working tirelessly to ensure that food banks are able to remain open and have the necessary stocks to respond to this crisis.”
Susan McInnes, group director, Scotland for Phoenix Group and CEO of Standard Life Assurance, said: “It’s vital we support the important efforts of charities in Scotland, all of whom are facing unprecedented demands for their services at this time. The longer this pandemic continues, the more people are struggling and rely upon the work of charities like Cyrenians, Social Bite, the Trussell Trust and Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance.
“We believe it is our duty to donate to protect those that are vulnerable and this small measure is part of Phoenix Group’s wider commitment to support communities across the UK battling the effects of Covid-19.”