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FM Groups Lift Community Spirits at Christmas

22 December 2020 | Updated 23 December 2020

The festive period this year brings different obstacles for many people up and down the British Isles – despite the struggle for business to adapt in regards to the pandemic, the FM industry is still supporting charity in force. Compass Group, Pinnacle Group and GMS Group are among those that have joined forces with several charities to help local communities during this challenging time.


"With people at the heart of our business it’s important to work with local communities to make a difference at this time of year."


– Robin Mills
Managing Director, Compass Group UK and Ireland

Compass Group's Commitments

Robin Mills is Managing Director at Compass Group UK and Ireland, the the UK’s largest food and support services company. “With people at the heart of our business it’s important to work with local communities to make a difference at this time of year," he said. "Charities have suffered this year without many of the big fundraising events taking place which raise crucial resources. Each of our sectors has led the way to support individual charities and as a business we work with a number of food surplus organisations to ensure we help as many as possible.

“I’m immensely proud of what we have been able to achieve this year and our people never fail to amaze me with their generosity of time and kindness to help others less fortunate. Hopefully we have been able to bring some Christmas cheer to those most in need.”


Here is a snapshot of some of the good Compass Group UK and Ireland is doing during the festivities:

  • Compass Ireland donated €11,400 worth of food and drink to the Dublin Simon Community – who provides services to over 7,600 people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness – for vital Christmas supplies.
  • Eurest employees in Edinburgh and Glasgow are working with social enterprise, Social Bite, on their mission to end homelessness, during its ‘Festival of Kindness’ by volunteering and donating gifts this Christmas.
  • As a member of the Marcus Rashford Child Poverty task force, Chartwells is sending out 9,000 hampers packed with healthy food during school holidays, for those entitled to free school meals. In addition, Chartwells is working with charities Kitchen Social and Transforming Lives for Good to donate up to 2,500 nutritious food hampers, to help stop children going hungry in the UK during the Christmas holidays.
  • ESS is supporting its local communities by donating over 1,000 Christmas care parcels to Royal Naval and Royal Marines Charity, Royal British Legion, RAF Benevolent Fund and Social Bite.  
  • Since the start of what would have been the 2020 Championships the Wimbledon Food & Drink team has partnered with The Wimbledon Foundation and food surplus distribution charity City Harvest to support the provision of more than 20,000 hot meals by Christmas Day.
  • Compass Scotland is providing 3,000 meals across three cities in three days this Christmas. Partnering with the Social Bite charity to identify those affected by homelessness and poverty in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, the team is taking to the road with hot food and drink.
  • RA Group is continuing its long-standing relationship with Refettorio Felix by donating another 1,600 meals over the festive period alongside members of the team volunteering. The group is also hosting a nationwide coffee cupping experience with Compass colleagues on 22nd December to raise some festive spirit and good will.
  • Healthcare Retail has raised £20,000 for Alzheimer's Society with their annual ‘Elf Week’ where colleagues across 100 sites dressed up as elves to put a smile on people’s faces and raise much needed funds for Medirest’s dedicated charity.
  • Compass and Foodbuy has donated over 236 tonnes of surplus food this year to charities including FareShare, Plan Zheroes, OLIO and Too Good To Go, this equates to over 560,000 meals.


Pinnacle Group Focuses on Staff-lead Food Support


“We appealed to Pinnacle employees to help support food banks and local causes in the communities where we operate."


– Perry Lloyd
Group Chief Executive, Pinnacle Group

Pinnacle recognises that food poverty and social deprivation is a serious issue in the UK and, as a leading provider of front-line, community facing services, acknowledges the important ongoing role it needs to play in the communities that it serves.

Ahead of the festive season, Pinnacle Group undertook a staff consultation exercise to nominate local causes and food banks within communities that they serve and to support these social ventures with donations. This collective activity served to recognise causes or charitable efforts that may otherwise have not received support and to ensure that Pinnacle was responsive to the needs of the local communities where it operates.

The consultation asked colleagues to identify and nominate food banks in their contract areas. This led to over 20 responses from our local teams and a set of 25 food banks and local causes across the communities we serve were identified. Pinnacle then donated sums of £500 each to support these food banks, as they provide basic food and support services to local communities that may be struggling during the festive period, over £10,000 has been donated.

Pinnacle also requested that colleagues recognise and nominate local causes that the Group could support. This was an important request, as many worthy, local causes do not have the resources to effectively publicise or communicate their work and are focused on their social outreach. Pinnacle colleagues identified a number of local causes and the Group will be working with each of these remarkable ventures, which are undertaking important work in trying times.  

Pinnacle is grateful that colleagues were able to volunteer their experience and knowledge to support these charitable causes and local food banks.

“We appealed to Pinnacle employees to help support food banks and local causes in the communities where we operate," said Perry Lloyd, Group Chief Executive at Pinnacle Group." We were delighted by the enthusiasm shown by all our staff to directly help people and families suffering hardship at this most difficult of times.”

In the London Borough of Lambeth alone, Pinnacle donated a total of £3,500 to the Trussell Trust and local community food banks. Alongside these donations, Pinnacle teams volunteered their time and expertise to the groups undertaking this important work in the Borough.


GMS Group's Christmas Budget Pledges

Midlands-based GMS Group has donated its Christmas budget to support local charities including Smethwick Food Bank, Black Country Women’s Aid, Dudley Zoo, The Kaleidoscope Plus Group & Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity.

The Bromsgrove based group of security specialist companies is well known for its philanthropic endeavours and has generously supported a large number of charities over the years. 

Speaking about GMS Group’s pledges to five local charities this year, Commercial Director Lisa Nicholson said “charities need support more than ever in the wake of this year’s pandemic. Donating our Christmas budget is a fantastic way for us to offer our support to those who do so much for people in the region, at a time when they need it most.”

GMS Group has given a donation to Smethwick Food Bank, which will contribute to a Christmas Day lunch for 200 residents from the Sandwell area including Smethwick, Oldbury & Cape Hill. The company hopes its gift will make a real difference to those who rely on food banks for support.

Speaking about GMS Group’s donation, Gareth Brown, Director of Smethwick Church Action Network said, “We are so grateful for the generosity of GMS Group in supporting our Café Team to prepare and deliver over 200 Christmas meals to local residents.  

“Our Foodbank, pantry and take-away meals service has operated throughout the pandemic supporting the most vulnerable in our town. We have provided over 4000 emergency food parcels through our Foodbank alone and these are often a lifeline to individuals and families.  We hope that through these meals we can also spread some hope and joy in the midst of these challenging times.”

Picture: Wimbledon Food & Drink team preparing Christmas meals to be distributed by City Harvest.

Article written by Bailey Sparkes | Published 22 December 2020


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