Amidst the backdrop of instability brought about in recent months by the COVID-19 pandemic, staff at Steps To Work have been offering a valuable lifeline to those who are amongst the most vulnerable members of the local community, including individuals with disabilities, mental health issues and sensory impairments. As a Support Manager on the organisation’s Work & Health Programme, Gurpreet Smith has gone above and beyond to raise money for the Black Country Food Bank, who provide a vital support service to members of the local community who are amongst the most in need. Having received generous donations from her family, friends and colleagues at Steps To Work, Gurpreet managed to raise £300, which has been spent on procuring essential supplies that the foodbank were struggling to source.
Speaking about why this cause was so important to her, Gurpreet said: “Along with my mum, I regularly volunteer at Smethwick Gurdwara, serving langar (vegetarian food) to 1000’s of visitors every day, some of whom are homeless and have nowhere else to go and enjoy a nutritious meal. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the suspension of activity at the Gurdwara, it is likely that such individuals, and hundreds of others like them, will have struggled to access community support services that they have come to rely on. Also, the fact that some of our participants on the Work & Health Programme have found themselves in similar positions inspired me to act; I knew I had to help in some way and decided to raise money for the Black Country Food Bank, who have been working tirelessly to continue providing a much needed service under challenging circumstances.
“With more and more of our participants having to use the foodbank, I did not want to risk anyone being turned away. Just hearing how grateful both the foodbank and their service users were meant it was all worthwhile and made a positive difference during a difficult period.”
Bhanu Dhir, Managing Director at Steps To Work, further commented: “As an organisation, we endeavour to position community at the heart of everything we do. Through our direct links and years of experience working with disadvantaged groups across the Black Country and beyond, we are proud to be able to offer our support and assistance.
“I would like to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt thanks to Gurpreet, as well as all members of the Steps To Work family, for their continued hard work, resilience and positivity in what has proven to be a testing time for all.”
In light of the ongoing situation regarding COVID-19, Steps To Work are continuing to offer remote support to participants throughout the region. For more information please contact us on 01922 627555 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.