Raven drives forward free van deal

Raven Housing Trust has secured a free van for a local food charity as part of its commitment to helping the community.

Raven, which manages around 7,000 homes in Surrey and Sussex, has given the helping hand to the Loveworks food banks, meaning that produce can be purchased more cheaply and additional food parcels can be delivered.

Angela Ellis of Raven, said that there was a strong link between the two organisations.

“Our staff helped Loveworks as demand grew during lockdown, delivering vital food parcels from their bases in Merstham and Woodhatch.

“Although this came to an end when our normal services resumed, we carried on talking to them about how we could continue to assist local people,” she explained.

“We discovered that they had transport problems – their volunteer drivers were using their own vehicles, which proved tricky for several reasons.

“So we approached Leaseplan, who we hire our vans from, and they offered to give us a low mileage large van – we were absolutely delighted and this will now be used by Loveworks to make deliveries in the local area.”

Kate Curtis of Loveworks commented: “Raven’s support was invaluable during lockdown and so we were delighted when we said they wanted to continue to help us in some way.

“The donation of a van is beyond our expectations and will make a massive difference to our operations.

“We will be able to move large quantities of stock at a time which means we can increase our food bank donation points, hence reducing the amount we have to spend on food.

“Finally it allows us to have more food bank drop-off points, rather than just the two we have in Merstham and Woodhatch, as we will be able to deliver pre-packed parcels to local pick-up points such as family centres, schools and other venues.

“We expect demand to continue to grow as the fallout from the crisis continues and the van that Raven has donated will mean we are in a better position than ever to meet the need.”

Alfonso Martinez, managing director of LeasePlan UK said the company’s  work with Raven Housing was an extension of their assistance programmes throughout the world – from car donations to volunteering.

“Covid may have forced us to keep physical distance from each other, but it’s been amazing to be able to come together virtually to find solutions to some of the problems we now face as a result of the pandemic. I am delighted that we have been able to help in some small way by providing this vehicle to keep the supply of food going to those most in need.”

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