At Swoffers we believe that successful businesses have a responsibility to make a positive difference in the community. That’s why we’re always happy to support our staff with their charitable and voluntary work.
Our relationship with the Guernsey Welfare Service grew during the pandemic lockdowns, when we couldn’t do viewings and our fleet of more than 20 cars would otherwise have been parked idle. The Guernsey Welfare Service needed drivers to transport essential food parcels to vulnerable people, so we became a natural fit.
The charity offers a non-judgemental service to people who find themselves in financial need. This includes pensioners, single-parent families, people with disabilities or long-term medical conditions, and families on low incomes who may have unexpected medical or household bills. Around 50 households are currently being supported by food donations. As well as the food bank, there are other services including life skills courses and money coaching.
Two and a half years on from the first lockdown, one of our team, rentals coordinator Kim Le Lacheur, has carried on volunteering with the service. She said it was a great charity to be part of.
‘To be honest, before the lockdowns I wasn’t really familiar with what Guernsey Welfare did, but we were given the option of helping and I found it a very rewarding experience. It’s a lifeline, you meet lots of people and they are so appreciative of the help. Everything is very well organised and when the lockdowns ended I wanted to stay involved.
‘There are regular people who do the deliveries, obviously it’s a confidential service and it’s nice for people to see the same faces. We have a WhatsApp group and when the regular drivers aren’t available they’ll pop a message on the group “Can anyone help us out this week?” That’s when I get some of the Swoffers team to step in.
‘Some people like you to leave the shopping at the door, some will invite you in saying “Come into the kitchen my love”. They might not have seen anyone for a few days and they just want a chat. I really like chatting with them and asking them how they are.’
In the Swoffers line of work, we sometimes come across people who are looking to get rid of furniture, carpets, and appliances. Storage and transport can be a challenge but looking to the future we’re trying to get a scheme off the ground where nearly new, good-quality items can be recycled to low-income homes.
All employees at Swoffers are given two paid volunteer days per year where they can help at a charity or community organisation of their choice. Kim said it was great to have the Swoffers team behind her.
‘Swoffers has been very supportive, we’re always encouraged to help. For instance, when Guernsey Welfare moved from Trinity to The Caves in Upper Mansell Street, I was given the morning off and I was able to move boxes back and forth. We often have mufti days here and Guernsey Welfare is one of the charities that benefits from that.’
If you would more information on the Guernsey Welfare Service and how to donate you can visit their website www.Guernseywelfare.com