A WOKINGHAM business has given away thousands of pounds to ensure every child in the borough can have a merry Christmas.
TaxCalc, a family-owned business based on Molly Millars Lane, has donated £4,000 worth of items to Wokingham Foodbank in a bid to ensure that no borough child goes without this festive season.
Tracy Ebson-Poole, the company’s CEO, decided to make the donation after scrolling through social media one evening.
She said she came across a social media post from Wokingham Foodbank, and, as she learnt more about the charity, she was inspired to lend a hand.
“When I heard some of the stories from Annette Medhurst at Wokingham Foodbank, I thought about how furlough just doesn’t provide enough support for some people,” she explained.
“It doesn’t get you what you need to have a happy Christmas, and that breaks my heart.”
Ms Ebson-Poole had to cancel TaxCalc’s Christmas celebration this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, and decided to divert the money saved towards the food bank.
“We’re very fortunate as a business because we’ve kept our head above the water during the coronavirus pandemic,” she said.
“So I got in touch with Annette and she gave me a little list of Christmas bits they needed but I thought ‘blow that, let’s give them everything they need and more’.”
From nappies and baby food to mince pies and Christmas puddings, Ms Ebson-Poole ordered a variety of seasonal items and pantry staples costing approximately £4,000.
“We also managed to get some little gift sets including toiletries and some Christmassy bits to try and make Christmas a bit more magical,” she added.
The CEO said she was in tears as she ordered the items which she so often takes for granted.
“It makes me very upset when I think about the fact that some people can’t even feed their children,” she said.
“I have a business, my kids don’t want for anything, and we ought to pay it forward.”
To arrange the delivery, Ms Ebson-Poole reached out to online supermarket Ocado to make sure the items reached Wokingham Foodbank safely.
And the food bank is grateful for the donation.
Annette Medhurst, the centre’s manager, said: “We have been blown away by people’s support during the pandemic, but a donation of this size is like nothing I’ve ever seen – it’s absolutely phenomenal.
“To have a donation that is so heavy on the fun, Christmassy items will make that day a bit more special for people.
“It will help alleviate some of the stress and strains that a lot of people are unfortunately going through right now,” she added.
This is not the first time TaxCalc has lent a helping hand recently, either – it also supported the NHS by providing personal protective equipment (PPE) earlier this year.
The company raised £12,000 to buy 3D printers, and then produced a range of visors and head savers which were distributed to local care homes, hospitals and health workers.
Now, Ms Ebson-Poole hopes that other businesses will follow suit and support the borough’s vulnerable residents.
“It’s incredibly privileged to be able to make this type of donation,” she said.
“If you can do something, you should. If companies can spare a couple of quid and support a worthy cause, they should.
“I hope TaxCalc can inspire other business owners who are weathering the storm to do something for somebody, somewhere in their community,” she added.
TaxCalc plans to continue working with Wokingham Foodbank to support its fuel bank scheme too, to support residents with their bills throughout the winter.
“In the new year, we will help them top up people’s electricity and carry on trying to do as much as we can,” Ms Ebson-Poole explained.
“What Wokingham Foodbank does is brilliant – it’s just amazing.”
Wokingham Foodbank is now asking for donations of long-life milk, adult toothpaste, men’s and women’s deodorant, and pasta sauce.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the food bank is not accepting direct donations. Items can be dropped off at:
- Morrisons, Woosehill Shopping Centre, Wokingham
- Tesco, Finchampstead Road, Wokingham
- Waitrose, Rectory Road, Wokingham
- Sainsbury’s, King Street Lane, Winnersh