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Dragon Taxis joins food parcel scheme to help Newport families

L-R: Rachel & Carys Jones, co-founders The Bigger Picture, Jack Price, Dragon Taxis Regional Driver Partner Experience Manager, Wayne Hatswell, Newport Country FC Assistant Manager. Photo credit: Huw John

Dragon Taxis Newport has partnered with The Bigger Picture and Newport County AFC to assist with a community initiative, distributing food to families in need in the county.

The food parcel scheme is led by The Bigger Picture, was set up by sisters Carys and Rachel Jones in 2018. The organisation is based at the Community Hub in Francis Drive, Pill and prior to the pandemic, hosted weekly activities including baby cafés, arts and crafts sessions, and performing arts classes.

Dragon Taxis Newport, a regional hub of the UK’s leading private hire operator Veezu, play a pivotal role in the scheme, delivering food donations to The Bigger Picture twice a week and distributing the assembled food parcels within the community.

The company has committed to providing the transport for the initiative, including throughout the summer holidays to help ensure that children and their families in Newport receive free meals.

Jack Price, General Manager for Dragon Taxis Newport & Torfaen, said: “We are really proud to be supporting The Bigger Picture and Newport County AFC with this initiative which makes a significant difference to several families in our local communities, particularly during these challenging times.

“Our driver-partners are really aware of the difficulties facing the communities they work in and supporting these communities is definitely a priority for everyone at Dragon Taxis Newport. By listening to the needs of our passengers and the community, we also launched a Click and Collect service this year to deliver shopping and medicines to families who are social distancing – we are keen to help however we can.”

Each week more than 80 families receive food parcels containing dry foods, meat and fresh produce, which have been kindly donated by organisations such as Aldi Newport, Jesus Cares Foodbank and Newport Round Table, from The Bigger Picture who are assisted by Dragon Taxis Newport as well as Newport County AFC.

Inspired by the football club’s County in the Community initiative, which aims to engage with the community in areas including social inclusion, health, education, sports participation and the environment, Newport County’s Assistant Manager Wayne Hatswell is an active volunteer with The Bigger Picture. Since the lockdown was implemented in March, Mr Hatswell has helped the organisation deliver more than 2000 meals to families across Newport.

Speaking about the initiative, Wayne Hatswell said: “Since joining Newport County AFC, the communities across Newport have been very welcoming. Thanks to the football club’s County in the Community scheme, I have been able to work with The Bigger Picture during lockdown and give something back to the community during what are particularly difficult times for many in the area.”

Carys Jones, co-founder of The Bigger Picture, added: “We are extremely grateful for the commitment of both Dragon Taxis Newport and Newport County AFC to supporting their communities. While we have been unable to hold our usual community events at the Hub during the pandemic, the food parcel initiative has been vital for many of our families and the help we have received to support these communities is greatly appreciated.”