A COMMUNITY-MINDED apprentice from Worcester-based Sanctuary Group has helped make a difference to the lives of families by volunteering at Worcester Foodbank.

Community investment apprentice Neil Croad jumped at the chance to help with sorting donations and preparing food parcels at the foodbank to mark this year’s National Apprenticeship Week (NAW).

Sanctuary recently named Worcester Foodbank as its charity of the year and will be offering staff from across the business the opportunity to help out under its employee volunteering scheme.

Mr Croad, who joined Sanctuary in January 2016, was inspired by a recent visit from Worcester Foodbank volunteers to explain more about their work.

He said: “I was struck by how quickly people’s circumstances can change and how you should never take anything for granted, and wanted to play my part in helping make a real difference to local families.

“I am keen to increase my own skills and, having not volunteered before, felt it would be great to experience something new as part of National Apprenticeship Week.”

Last year Worcester Foodbank provided more than 6,000 emergency food parcels to support city families for up to three days with over 60,000 meals.

Grahame Lucas, Worcester Foodbank manager, added: “Demand for the service the foodbank provides is growing and we could not meet that need without the support of organisations like Sanctuary and the dedicated volunteers who give their time so generously.

“We were delighted Neil chose to volunteer at the foodbank to mark National Apprenticeship Week and we look forward to welcoming more Sanctuary employees over the course of the year.”

NAW (5-9 March 2018) is an annual event, organised by the National Apprenticeship Service, which celebrates the talents and skills of apprentices and the value of apprenticeship programmes.

Sanctuary’s national apprenticeship programme has been running for 10 years, supporting over 1,600 young people into work during that time, both directly within Sanctuary and through development partners.

Worcester Foodbank is part of a national network of foodbanks affiliated to the Trussell Trust, a Christian charity committed to combating poverty and hunger.