Big-hearted car workers belonging to the Unite the union’s Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) Solihull branch have raised £50,000 for five charities in the Birmingham region, as thousands in the city face a bleak Covid-19 Christmas.

Unite said that its 9,000 JLR branch members had dug deep to support the charities with £20,000 going to SIFA Fireside, the day centre for homeless and vulnerably housed adults; and £20,000 to the St Basil’s Youth Hub which helps homeless young people to find a home and employment.

The remaining £10,000 has been split between Sutton Coldfield Baptist Church Foodbank (£3,000); Erdington Baptist Church Foodbank (£3,000); and Crisis Skylight Birmingham (£4,000).

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Tomorrow (Thursday 17 December), two giant cheques each inscribed with £20,000 will be presented to the main recipients at:

Venue:  St Basil’s Youth Hub, 71-75 Allcock Street, Deritend, Birmingham B9 4DY

Time: 11.00 Thursday 17 December

Venue: SIFA Fireside, 48-52 Allcock Street, Deritend, Birmingham B9 4DY

Time: 12.00-12.30 Thursday 17 December

Unite plant convenor Solihull operations and global chair of convenors JLR Mick Graham said: “We have about 9,000 members in our branch at JLR Solihull and we decided to make this donation due to the incredibly difficult position ordinary people have found themselves in due to Covid-19 and the economic damage that has been caused and continues to be caused by the pandemic - it has certainly affected the poorest, the hardest.

“The branch felt it could make a significant difference with this donation and make a difference to people in dire circumstances, at least to eat and obtain support where needed.”

Unite regional secretary for the West Midlands Annmarie Kilcline said: “The response to our national appeal to help those in desperate straits has been tremendous from our members working for JLR.  

“Once again, they have dug deep in terms of hard cash and generosity of spirit to help those who are struggling and worried in the West Midlands about how they will get through this Christmas. It is truly heart warming to see Unite members put their arms around those in need."

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: "Social solidarity is what this union is all about. The JLR branch and members have shown that solidarity in spades, linking arms with our Community members, and because of their commitment to their fellow human beings there will be some joy in households who feared it would be in short supply this Christmas. 

 “But we know that it is not just about one day in the calendar. Our friends and families will need our support throughout this winter and through this crisis - and Unite will be there when they do."

 ENDS

Notes to editors:

More details about the charities who will be receiving cheques from Unite are below:

1 SIFA Fireside – £20,000

Day centre for homeless and vulnerably housed adults. Over 33,000 people presented there last year. They offer a number of vital services ranging from providing a hot meal for homeless people to helping find accommodation

https://www.sifafireside.co.uk/

 2 St Basil’s Youth Hub – £20,000

 Helps homeless young people to find and keep a home and move into employment

https://stbasils.org.uk/contact-us/ 

3 Sutton Coldfield Baptist Church Foodbank - £3,000       

https://www.scbc.org.uk/community/food-bank/

4 Erdington Baptist Church Foodbank  - £3,000

https://erdington.foodbank.org.uk/

5 Crisis Skylight Birmingham - £4,000

https://www.crisis.org.uk/get-help/birmingham/

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065.

Please note the numbers above are for journalists’ enquiries only.

Email: shaun.noble@unitetheunion.org

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org 

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.