Batleys Swindon build connections in the community through collaboration

Batleys Swindon teamBatleys Swindon has built connections in the community by donating products to Swindon Volunteers and in return the Swindon Batleys team has received freshly cooked meals in recognition of their support.

Batleys has been helping out the town of Swindon by donating supplies for selfless volunteers to provide essential food and cooked meals to the most vulnerable and shielded.

And to show their appreciation, Swindon Volunteers has even provided free cooked meals, prepared by chef Sanjay Dogra from Chiseldon Smokehouse, to the workers at Batleys, among other wholesalers.

Swindon Volunteers are a group founded by community champions Pradeep Bhardwaj and Sunny Patel made up of hundreds of volunteers delivering food to those most in need throughout the town. They would not be able to provide the help that they do without the cash and carries.

Sunny Patel, of Swindon Volunteers, also runs two convenience stores, QMS Stores on Ferndale Road and Alexandra Park Convenience Store in Wroughton and has an interest in The Smokehouse. He said: "If these cash and carries weren't operating it would be a disaster for Swindon during this pandemic. They supply all the convenience stores as well as the takeaways and they even deliver making it so much easier to get what we need in a safe way at these times.

"They've even helped out with our efforts at Swindon Volunteers with donating the ingredients so that we can cook the meals or supply for free those in real need.

"We thought we would show our appreciation of their efforts by cooking and donating some meals back to the cash and carries as what they are doing is more than essential for the town."

General Manager of Batleys Swindon, Gary Pointer said: "At the start of the crisis we were getting through massive amounts of stock meaning that we were finding it difficult to keep the supplies going but it's calmed down and thanks to my team we're able to keep the shelves full.

"We have done everything we can to keep supplies going and we have been so busy over the past few weeks. Obviously it has been challenging but we adhere to the strict social distancing measures to ensure that our customers and staff are safe.

"We have worked closely with different groups across the town to try and help. Brighter Futures, which helps GWH, now comes two or three times a week to keep their food supplies up and we also have volunteers from across the town giving out food packages to the most vulnerable mostly out of their own pockets. We have been doing everything we can to help them from supplying boxes to putting some extra food items in their packages at no extra cost.

"We really appreciated the meals that were donated to us from Swindon Volunteers. Some members of staff ate them in their lunch break and others took them home. It's good for the team to know that their hard work is appreciated and is making a difference.