A Midlands outsourcing firm has donated £1,000 to Birmingham Christmas Shelter to ensure homeless and vulnerable people can be well fed throughout the festive season.
Sigma Connected, which provides contact centre services across the utilities, retail, telecommunications and financial services sectors, has donated the four-figure sum from its Sigma Connected Community Foundation, which was launched in October to raise funds for charities, community groups and good causes.
The money will be spent towards the cost of hiring a food truck to provide meals for the homeless, people suffering from poverty, or loneliness across the city over the Christmas period.
Sigma, which has offices in central Birmingham and Redditch, and employs 4,000 staff across the UK, South Africa and Australia, donates thousands of pounds to good causes each year. It has pledged to donate £8,000 every year from the foundation – with Birmingham Christmas Shelter being the first recipient.
Gary Gilburd, CEO of Sigma Connected, said: “It is important for us to help make a difference in local communities up and down the country – some of which our staff live in – and to give something back. We have a responsibility to help where and how we can which is why we have established the Sigma Connected Community Foundation and asked our employees to nominate the charities in their communities which they feel would benefit from a donation.
“The past two years have been tough on everybody, particularly for people who don’t have a home to go to or are feeling isolated and lonely. We hope our donation helps an amazing cause in some way and provides comfort and food over Christmas for those most in need.”
The charity was nominated by Sigma Connected employee Shakil Anjum, who has volunteered at the shelter since 2016. He said: “For five years I’ve seen firsthand the amazing work the charity does across Birmingham and how many people in need it helps through providing meals, support and general kindness at Christmas. Volunteering has given me a unique opportunity to get involved and I am so delighted that we have selected the charity for this donation.”
Birmingham Christmas Shelter trustee Tej added: “We rely entirely on donations to run the shelter and every penny that is raised goes towards providing a safe place, food and entertainment for those in need over Christmas.
“We would like to thank Sigma for this incredibly generous donation. It has been welcomed more than ever this year on the back of the additional challenges all charities, including ours, have faced due to the Covid pandemic.
“The money will go towards the cost of hiring a food truck, something we are doing for the first time this year. This has been one of the decisive factors that has ensured we can open during Christmas, and we can’t thank Gary, Shakil and the Sigma Connected team enough for helping us make it possible.”
The shelter has been operating for over 45 years, opening throughout the Christmas period to provide a safe place for homeless and vulnerable people to stay.
They are also currently running a “Can you raise £20 challenge” with people holding fund raising events or undertaking a sponsored challenge or facing their fears. For more information please visit their website at www.birminghamchristmasshelter.org.