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As a customer of GWP, or a member of one of the local communities that GWP serves, you may be interested in how the business supports charities, education and other groups.

GWP places great importance in local communities. Support includes extensive ongoing assistance for charities, including Swindon Food Collective (foodbank) and The Cricklade Band. GWP also assists various education providers, including Innovation, Ben, Swindon UTC and Swindon College.

Community projects

GWP assists various charities, community groups and individuals through donations, support and knowledge. GWP provides help for both specific projects, as well as ongoing involvement with several charities.

The Swindon Food Collective

GWP has supported Swindon Food Collective, formerly Swindon Foodbank, for over ten years.

Initially, GWP challenged local engineering students at Swindon College to create a handling solution for the organisation’s warehouse. GWP then manufactured the winning design and has been supplying the charity with boxes ever since.

GWP also supplied maintenance technicians to re-wire the electrics at their Swindon fulfilment centre. A team of GWP employees completed the three peaks challenge, raising almost £3,000 for the charity in 2014.

A cardboard box at a foodbank
GWP have supported Swindon Foodbank (and its successor, Swindon Food Collective) in a number of ways.

Cricklade Band and local events

The Cricklade Band was originally established in 1887, having been a part of the fabric of the local community for over 130 years.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, with all concerts and sources of income on hold, GWP sponsored the band to help them through this challenging period. GWP has remained a sponsor even after the lifting of restrictions.

GWP also sponsor the Cricklade Christmas lights switch-on event and the Cricklade Summer Festival.

Cricklade band playing at Christmas
GWP are long term supporters of the Cricklade Band.

Marmalade Trust

The Marmalade Trust is the only charity in the world focusing on raising awareness of loneliness.

Based in Bristol, GWP donated numerous boxes as hampers for the charity’s “Christmas Cheer” initiative. The charity distributes these boxes to individuals experiencing loneliness during the festive period.

Other community support

GWP has also supported several local charities and community groups.

Initiatives include donating packaging to Medical Missionary News to ship donations and to Shine Pinehurst to raise mental health awareness.

GWP supplied cardboard Christmas trees to several schools and community groups, including the Gloucester Deaf Association (GDA). Decorated trees have also been donated to a local care home in Swindon.

Cardboard Christmas trees being decorated by primary school pupils.
Cardboard Christmas trees being decorated by Cricklade primary school pupils.

GWP has also supported a local firm in making visors for healthcare staff during the early part of the coronavirus crisis, provided kit skips to a walking football team, and even supplied a time capsule for a BBC Wiltshire community event.

GWP staff also regularly support annual charity events such as Wear it Pink (Breast Cancer Now), Movember and Christmas jumper day.

You can see all of the community activity that GWP has participated in by viewing the news section of this site.

Education

Besides community groups and charities, GWP also places significant importance on assisting education providers. Such schemes see GWP work with many local colleges, primary schools and third-party organisations.

Innovation Ben

Ben Edmonds, the founder of Innovation Ben, runs a weekly inventor club for kids online.

Combining this with his day job as a Principal Engineer at Dyson, he also visits schools throughout the UK to help with STEM-related activities.

GWP has supported Ben by donating the corrugated cardboard material he uses in his lessons.

GWP and Ben also teamed up to provide sponsored places on Bens courses to Ukrainian children displaced by the ongoing conflict.

Ben Edmonds with a student
GWP support Ben Edmonds, of Innovation Ben through the supply of various materials.

Swindon College

GWP has worked closely with Swindon College on many projects.

These include the competition that led to the ongoing partnership with Swindon Foodbank, where students designed a handling tray to store and move donated food items.

Besides this, GWP commissioned students to create an art exhibition to commemorate GWP’s 25 anniversary. Students created the sculptures and artwork entirely from cardboard. A similar project aimed to raise awareness of Swindon Scrapstore by tasking students to create sculptures from packaging waste. GWP displayed the finished pieces from both projects in Swindon’s Brunel Shopping Centre.

Additional support

GWP has also supported Swindon UTC (University Technical College) by hosting students on a tour of GWP’s production facility.

James Pedley, GWP Operations Manager, giving a talk to Swindon UTC students.
James Pedley, GWP Operations Manager, giving a talk to Swindon UTC students.

GWP has accommodated various work placements for students, including being part of Cirencester College’s Career Ready scheme.

Materials have also been supplied to art students at Larkmead school, whilst cardboard Christmas trees were donated for children to decorate at Cricklade and Catherine Wayte (North Swindon) primary schools.

Volunteering

All GWP staff can take one paid day per year away from the business to help with community projects and charitable work.

Individuals or teams within the business can opt to help several selected charities and organisations or request to assist one of their choosing.

Volunteering includes helping at a local food bank, painting a community centre, or helping to organise fundraising events.

The wider Macfarlane Group also run a volunteer day scheme of this type.

Find out more