Smeg partners with Oxfordshire Mind for Christmas charity initiative

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Abingdon-based appliance brand Smeg has announced that it has joined forces with the Oxfordshire Charity, Oxfordshire Mind for an exclusive charitable partnership this Christmas at its local centre in Abingdon.

The UK subsidiary of Smeg remains committed to being an active member of the local community. Its decision to partner with Oxfordshire Mind came about as a cause close to the brand’s heart.

Oxfordshire Mind itself recently celebrated half a century of helping those experiencing mental health issues; for over 50 years it has strived to gain support and respect for everyone affected, to promote understanding and to challenge stigmatisation related to mental health. Oxfordshire Mind actively works to spread the importance of community and mutual support to residents in and around Oxfordshire.

Oxfordshire Mind regularly offer a place of comfort and support for those that need it during some of the most difficult times. The festive period can be one of the most challenging and desperate times for those suffering with Mental Health and Wellbeing issues.

Working together with Oxfordshire Mind during this festive period, Smeg has teamed together with the Oxfordshire Mind Abingdon Wellbeing Hub and has supplied a much needed top of the range multicavity range cooker with a state of the art induction hob top. This will provide the much-needed capacity to cook Christmas lunches for all its residents and hopefully many more meals to come throughout the coming years. Along with its fellow partners such as the local turkey farm Peachcroft who have supplied the turkey, Waitrose who have supplied the mince pies and dessert and a dedicated team of volunteers from the local army barracks, all will be serving a Christmas dinner as well as sharing time and the sense of community to those who need it most.

Scott Quinnell, former Welsh rugby player and Smeg ambassador, also joined Smeg and the team of army volunteers at Oxfordshire Mind’s Abingdon Mind hub to help serve over 60 delicious Christmas lunches to its local residents.

Over the past year alone, Oxfordshire Mind has housed and supported 117 local residents; taken almost 9,300 calls and enquiries within its information service; helped over 1,729 people to cope and keep well through options services, educational and coping skills courses and peer support groups; supported 876 people through benefits advice casework; and achieved a 51.6% patient recovery rate within its psychological therapy service.

In the past, Smeg has undertaken charity initiatives for Action Medical Research and, for the past two years, has worked alongside young minds at the Abingdon School to support its Young Enterprise project, as well as SeeSaw, which provides bereavement support for young children in the Oxfordshire area.

Smeg UK managing director Mike Giddings commented: “As a company we are incredibly passionate about giving back to the local community; we very much consider ourselves a family and this remains a core part of our ethos. We feel privileged to be working with a charity performing such outstanding work as Mind on its upcoming Christmas dinner appeal. We simply had to help when we heard serving dinner for 60 rested on it.”

Oxfordshire Mind chief executive Dan Knowles added: “Every year the Abingdon Wellbeing Hub hosts a Christmas dinner for the local community. This brings together our Partners, Staff, Service Users, Volunteers and Peer Supports. This year we are so grateful to have Smeg, our lead charity partner, providing state of the art cooking appliances. This support has allowed the Abingdon Wellbeing Hub to continue its tradition of cooking this community focused lunch around the festive period. The Christmas meal will provide support to many who struggle over the Christmas dinner.”

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