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Evans Halshaw and YMCA Black Country Group drive forward to support Wolverhampton families

A kind-hearted Wolverhampton car dealership has joined forces with the YMCA Black Country Group to help provide essential support for local families.

Evans Halshaw Vauxhall, which employs 40 people at its site on the Bilston Road, is aiming to fill a car up with food and everyday items that will help ease the cost-of-living crisis in the city.

The campaign is open to employees and customers to donate anything that could go into the food/care parcels, including toiletries, pasta, tinned goods, lentils, cereal and water and cordials.

When the electric Vauxhall Mokka is full, the company will drive it over to the YMCA’s head office, where the intention is to distribute to families already part of the charity’s services.

This will encompass parents who use its Holiday Activity Fund (HAF) and youth clubs, as well as residents of Y-Living at City Gateway and supported housing on the Cannock Road.

“We have been selling cars in Wolverhampton since the 1950s and have a huge affinity for the city and the people who live here,” explained Lydia Robinson, Sales Administrator at Evans Halshaw Vauxhall.

“All of the staff wanted to put something back, with one of my colleagues having an existing link with the YMCA Black Country Group. A few conversations later and we had identified a motoring-themed campaign that drives forward the charity’s desire to help individual and families with the cost-of-living crisis.”

She continued: “We’re 75% towards our target, so within a few weeks the car should be full and then we’ll be able to take an electric-powered trip to City Gateway. This could well turn into a monthly mobile food bank going forward.”

YMCA Black Country Group provides support to thousands of people across the Black Country and South Staffordshire.

It operates eight day nurseries across the region, providing high quality day care to children aged 0-5, with its curriculum inspired by its Christian values and to encourage diversity and inclusivity.

The organisation, which was recently named as a Gold Investor in People, is looking to build a long-term partnership with Evans Halshaw Vauxhall and is currently discussing the possibility of staff volunteering to support gardening/DIY projects, the use of electric cars for meetings and more funding towards buying sports and craft equipment.

Steve Bavington, Chief Executive of YMCA Black Country Group, added his thoughts: “We are living in an extremely challenging period for everyone and, for our organisation to continue to deliver essential support, we need to engage with the local business community.

“That’s why relationships, like the one we are building with Evans Halshaw Vauxhall, are so important. We must make the partnerships relevant to both parties and explore how we can deliver experiences and tangible benefits for the staff and the companies who support us.

“The car-themed food bank campaign is a great start, and we anticipate having enough food/care parcels to support over 100 Wolverhampton families.”

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(l-r): Darren Bowen, Lydia Robinson (both Evans Halshaw), Shaz Hafeez (YMCA Black Country Group), Khatija Hussein (work experience student from Sandwell Academy) and Steve Bavington (YMCA Black Country Group)

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