Helping those in need this Christmas



Karbon Homes’ 700-strong workforce has once again shown their support for those in need this Christmas by donating a fantastic 961 items to our region’s food banks.

Karbon staff making foodbank donation

Pictured left to right: Paul Fiddaman, Group Chief Executive of Karbon Homes, food bank volunteer Phil Murphy, Kelly Smith, County Durham food bank Food Supply Manager and Paul Gough, Karbon Homes painter and decorator.

And, to give the campaign a further boost, Karbon matched the number of items collected by its staff by donating a gift card to the value of £700, which will all go to help those most in need.

Staff donated tinned foods, pasta, rice, jars, cereal, toiletries and nappies and volunteers arranged for the items to be delivered to food banks in Newcastle, Hexham, Morpeth, Stanley and Chester-le-Street.

Karbon Homes’ Benefits & Money Team has seen a continual rise in demand for food banks over recent years, with more residents requiring emergency food supplies, and this is even more noticeable in areas where full Universal Credit service has been rolled out.

In 2017 alone, the team made over 400 referrals to local food banks, that’s over 1.5% of Karbon Homes’ residents in extreme need.

Last week, full Universal Credit was rolled out in Consett and Stanley and even with some changes made by Government in the recent budget, some people are still likely to be struggling to get by over the festive period. In addition, with the cold winter months ahead, the Benefits and Money Team are hearing that many people are making tough decisions between eating and heating.

The Newcastle West Food Bank saw a 16% increase in demand when full Universal Credit was rolled out. In February 2017, a month before the introduction of full service, there were 957 people on Universal Credit. By July 2017, this figure rose to 2,576 – a 160% increase.

Karbon Homes' Christmas Food Bank Donation


We recognise the issues our residents face over the Christmas period and are committed to providing support by way of donations and by providing expert advice and guidance through our Benefits & Money Team.

Karbon Homes’ group Chief Executive Paul Fiddaman, helped deliver some of the donations to the Durham Food Bank head office. He said: “We have seen a sharp increase in demand from our residents accessing the region’s food banks and there is evidence to suggest that the rollout of full service Universal Credit in some of our communities is the reason for this impact.

“At Karbon Homes, we support our residents as much as we can and in addition to our excellent benefits and money advice service, which provides expert advice and guidance to help people maximise their income, we also wanted to organise a collection.

“Food banks are a source of emergency food supplies and unfortunately, demand increases at this time of year. I hope our contribution will help those families in need during this difficult time.”

Stuart Hudson, manager of the Durham Food Bank, added: "The food bank and fuel bank support complement each other to support those people in a crisis situation. This has never been more important as we are experiencing an increase of referrals by 40% year on year in those areas where full roll out of Universal Credit has occurred.”

The donations were made as part of a week-long drive, where each Karbon office donated to its local food bank, culminating in an office dress down day on Friday 15th December. 

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