NFU Mutual Agents and their staff at the local Ashford, Tenterden and Whitfield offices recently nominated three local charities to receive donations of more than £6,450 each from a national £2million ‘Agency Giving Fund’ launched by NFU Mutual. The supported charities are Warming Up The Homeless, Dandelion Time and The Family Food Bank.

Doug Jackson, NFU Mutual Senior Partner, said: “We are delighted to support these amazing local charities via the NFU Mutual Agency Giving Fund. We asked our team to nominate and vote on the charities they most wanted to support. Delivering the charitable funds via the agency network means we can support charities local to us making a difference in our communities. The charities we selected cover mental health, homelessness and food poverty. Three areas that have been particularly affected by the pandemic.”

The Tenterden agency donated to Warming Up The Homeless, a charity helping the homeless of Hastings, St Leonards, Bexhill and Eastbourne. Their goal is to change the face of homelessness by ensuring those on the street have enough food, clothing, support and essential information to survive.

Trudy Hampton, CEO of Warming up the Homeless, said: “With many grateful thanks to NFU Mutual for their very generous donation, we can now continue to feed, clothe and support 800 people a week via outreach and our food bank.”

NFU Mutual’s Ashford office has donated to Dandelion Time, a charity focused on transforming the lives of vulnerable children. The charity is one Kent’s top children’s mental health charities, helping to support children with challenging emotional issues, often brought on by trauma, violence or serious health difficulties.

Anyès Reading, Relationship Manager of Dandelion Time, said: “Dandelion Time helps children struggling with the effects of trauma, abuse or neglect. Children spend time on our farm feeding and caring for the animals to overcome emotional difficulties, grow in confidence and begin to love and trust again. A tranquil natural environment is integral to our therapeutic approach; immersing children and families in nature. NFU Mutual’s generous funding for the fencing of the animals (see The Paddocks area in our site map attached) is crucial for their welfare, having the animals in a safe and enclosed space enables us to deliver our therapy with the children and families who come to Dandelion Time.”

The Whitfield agency has chosen to donate to The Family Foodbank, who operate across the various districts throughout Kent, due to their continuous efforts to feed children and families across the county.

Emma White, Warehouse Manager for Fareshare Kent, said: “Fareshare Kent and the Family Foodbank are delighted to have the generous support of NFU Mutual in funding the work that we do throughout Kent. Our role in distributing food to the most vulnerable in Kent has become even more vital over the past year due to the coronavirus pandemic, during which we distributed over 1200 tonnes of surplus food and 12,000 food boxes to those in need. It is support like yours that will help us to continue to meet this increased demand over the next year.”

In addition to the donations, NFU Mutual Ashford, Tenterden & Whitfield will soon be launching a new initiative to enable staff to further support the chosen charities. For Warming up the Homeless, a group will go to their facility to help feed vulnerable people in a safe space, whilst another group will assist in Family Food Banks warehouse. At Dandelion Time, agency employees will take part in Digging for Dandelion, helping to renovate the charities farm at their new head office.

NFU Mutual Ashford, Tenterden & Whitfield hopes to continue supporting these charities in the future.