This December, colleagues from Progress Housing Group have volunteered their time at St Mary's Community Centre in Leyland, packing and delivering food parcels for Leyland Foodbank.

Progress Housing Group's Operations Director Robert Porter and Heads of Housing Operations, Stephen Spencer, Tola Adesemowo and Kirsty Ellis, along with Progress Involvement Officer, Sam Beattie, joined Leyland Foodbank Coordinator Celia Neill, to help pack and deliver foodbank parcels to families across Leyland this Christmas.

The morning spent volunteering was arranged by Robert and Sam as part of the Group's commitment to volunteering. Earlier this year, the Group partnered with South Ribble Borough Council and Citizen's Advice to introduce the 'Better Together' employer-led volunteering project. Since then the Group has seen individual employees and teams take part in various volunteering opportunities with tenants and out in our communities - from community clean-ups and planting bulbs for Spring, to spending time with our older tenants.

We spoke to Celia from the foodbank and heard more about the difference it has made to have the support of organisations like ours:

"Hi, I'm Celia and I help run Leyland Foodbank which is based at St Mary's Community Centre in Leyland. The foodbank was set up more than 10 years ago to help families and individuals living in poverty. We mostly receive donations from the general public. The people who benefit from the foodbank can be referred to us from places like the local council, SLEAP, social workers, and Progress Housing Group. Individuals can come to us directly in an emergency but they will need a referral from a service like one of the ones mentioned if they require help from the foodbank regularly.

"I'm very grateful that the Progress Housing Group team today are able to support us. Without the support from the Group and other businesses and volunteers, we wouldn't be able to continue running. At the moment, Progress also sends us a volunteer as part of their Progress Futures service one day a week, and we are very pleased that we can also help you by supporting your customers to gain skills and experience to help them move on into work, education or other volunteering opportunities.

"Today the Progress team has been helping pack up and deliver Christmas-themed food parcels for local schools in the Leyland area. The welfare officers at the schools will make sure that the families who need them most will receive one.

"I would like to say a big, big thank you to all those people who donate to our foodbank and other foodbanks in the area. Without the outstanding generosity of the people of Leyland, we wouldn't be able to help so many."

You can hear from Robert and Sam about Progress Housing Group's morning volunteering at Leyland Foodbank in the video, below: