A HOUSING association has been supporting people in Basingstoke through a charity initiative.

Basingstoke foodbanks are among the first to benefit from the 800 festive treat boxes that are being given away to 11 small charities around the area.

There will be 200 boxes will be distributed by the Besom charity via their five church foodbanks across the area adding to their work sharing Christmas hampers with those who struggle to afford to make Christmas special.

The gift boxes were individually filled and signed by staff at VIVID’s recent “Creating Bright Futures” staff training event.

Each box contains a selection of goodies – from biscuits and mince pies to popcorn, cheese straws and hot chocolate - that offer some cheer to a range of recipients, young and old.

Alan Jones, the Besom volunteer who collected the boxes from VIVID, said: “Thank you all VIVID staff for making such a great gesture.

“We’ll distribute the goodies via our five food banks in time for Christmas. They’ll be given out to our clients, all of whom are experiencing hardship and food poverty.

“A heartfelt “thank you” to all VIVID staff, and rest assured all those who receive them will be very thankful too.”

VIVID chief executive Mark Perry said: “Wellbeing and bright futures are at the heart of what we aim to offer our customers and at this time of year we wanted to find a way to spread that vision to others.

“The boxes are not only going to foodbanks but also those in domestic abuse and crisis centres, shelters for homeless veterans, isolated elderly and young people facing neglect and difficult backgrounds.”