Helping Hands: Community Grant Update

Helping Hands, our new charity initiative, provides cash grants to the charities that are most important to our customers. Our first cash grants were given in April 2022 after many of you participated in the voting process.

We're pleased to share an update on how the winning organisations have used their £10,000 grant since they each received it.

Milk couriers

The Human Milk Foundation

It’s been a very busy couple of months at the Hearts Milk Bank. Since receiving the Helping Hands Grant they have been able to pasteurise and send out over 400 litres of donor milk to babies in NHS hospital neonatal intensive care and families at home. On May 19th they also celebrated World Day of Human Milk Donation - a day where families and milk banks all over the world come together to thank milk donors for donating this very precious gift to help tiny vulnerable babies. This video was created by the Global Alliance of Milk Banks and Associations (GAMBA) with help from The Human Milk Foundation and Alive & Thrive, which features babies and children who have received donor milk sending their messages of thanks.

Their mission is to raise enough funds to enable them to scale up their milk bank operations, open new donor milk hubs across England & Wales, expand the milk bank team and pasteurise more donor milk so that every baby who could benefit can have equitable access to donor milk. It costs £100 to onboard each new milk donor which pays for their recruitment packs, screening and blood tests and thanks to the Helping Hands community grant donation, in the last month alone they have recruited over 40 milk donors whose milk is going out to hospitals and families at home with the help of the wonderful SERV ‘Blood Biker’ volunteers and our HMF volunteer drivers.

It means so much to the families who receive donor milk whose lives are forever changed by this special gift. Our milk donors are incredibly special people and they too have their own stories. One of our milk donors - Kerry, shared her story of becoming a milk donor and what it means to her to donate her milk (story attached).

The Human Milk Foundation said:

“On behalf of the whole HMF team, and the babies - thank you so much for supporting The Human Milk Foundation.”


British-Ukrainian Aid

In the last few weeks British-Ukrainian Aid have used the Helping Hands donation to help support Ukrainian refugees in the UK, covering the cost of hot meals for 350 new pupils from displaced Ukrainian families who attend St Mary's Ukrainian School on Saturdays in London for 6 weeks.

The charity has also sent 11 lorries, 13 ambulances, 11 cars, 14 vans and 1 plane loaded with medical and humanitarian aid to Ukraine and with the help of volunteers from Plast London and Support Ukraine, have assembled and sent more than 10,000 First Aid Kits. The grant has also assisted in the procurement and delivery of 34 ambulances to Ukraine as well as also helping to cover the cost of petrol for 50 ambulances.

A spokesperson for the charity said:

“With your kind donation we hope to continue sending regular medical and humanitarian aid to the wounded and displaced in Ukraine.”


Child in bee protection hat
Kids playing outside

The Sunnywood Project

The Grant received from JoJo Maman Bébé will be used to help to develop the early years programme from The Sunnywood Project community hub. This early year’s programme will enable young children and their families to engage with active outdoor activities and install a love of nature and exploration from an early age.

When we caught up with the team at The Sunnywood Project they said:

“The Sunnywood Project would like to extend a massive thank you to JoJo Maman Bébé and the wonderful community for voting for us. We are currently in the process of acquiring a building which will be transformed into ’The Sunnywood Project Community Hub’.”