A HOUSEBUILDER donated more than £20,000 and helped fill over 200 hampers to help combat loneliness in in the south west this Christmas - including in Somerset.

Barratt David Wilson Homes made Marmalade Trust its charity of the year at the start of 2020, and in addition to a range of fundraising initiatives throughout the year, the team asked their suppliers and contractors not to give them Christmas presents this year, but instead to support the charity's work to donate and deliver 200 hampers to people spending Christmas alone in the region.

Staff have been collecting items and donations for the hampers throughout December, and last week joined the team at Marmalade Trust to help assemble the gifts ready for delivery in an initiative due to feature on BBC Breakfast TV on Christmas Eve.

The team at Barratt David Wilson Homes, which is building new homes and communities at Ladden Garden Village, Yate; Nerrols Grange, Taunton and across the South West, also held bake sales and furniture sales earlier in the year to help raise vital funds.

A total of £10,228 was raised through the year, which has since been doubled by parent company Barratt Developments, meaning £20,456 has been handed to the charity this Christmas.

Each year, the Marmalade Trust runs events for people in the South West who would otherwise be spending Christmas day alone.

This year, due to coronavirus, they planned alternative activities including a visit from a volunteer on Christmas Day to deliver a hamper and stay for a socially-distanced chat.

Amy Perrin, founder and CEO of Marmalade Trust said: "At Marmalade Trust we understand that Christmas is one of the hardest times of the year for those struggling with loneliness, and this year we feel that it is more important than ever to provide support, social contact and fun for those spending Christmas alone.

"We were delighted to have the support of the team at Barratt David Wilson Homes South West to help fill and deliver these unique hampers - but to have this incredibly generous donation as well, has really made our Christmas."

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Louise Ware, sales director for Barratt David Wilson Homes South West, added: "Supporting the communities we are building in is hugely important to our team.

"We are all aware, perhaps this year more than ever, of people at risk of loneliness this Christmas so we're proud to be supporting the incredible work of Marmalade Trust.

"It's testament to the generosity of our suppliers and sub-contractors that we've been able to offer this extra help when it's needed most."

In addition to supporting Marmalade Trust as its charity of the year, Barratt David Wilson Homes South West has donated more than £10,750 to a range of local causes throughout the year through its community fund, including to food banks and homelessness support projects.

To donate to Marmalade Trust visit https://www.marmaladetrust.org/support-our-work