A firm of architects and interior designers has celebrated 10 years of amazing support for The Welcome Centre foodbank.

Armitage Bridge-based One 17 Architects & Interior Designers became the Huddersfield foodbank’s first corporate partner back in 2011.

One 17, which has operated for more than 60 years, has always had a clear community focus with a vision to support small charities within the local community.

Through the One 17 Charitable Trust, the Trustees aim to help small local charities access funding to support their growth as they provide much-needed help to the people within their community.

Back in January 2011, The Welcome Centre was located in the attic of the Mission, providing 3,800 packs per year to those in crisis.

The foodbank relied on relationships with local agencies for referrals and donations from churches and schools.

But to gain more public support and help those in need find out how to get support, The Welcome Centre needed a new look.

In stepped One 17 Design creating a completely new brand and logo and setting up the first Welcome Centre website.

Emma Greenhough, fundraising manager at The Welcome Centre, said: “One 17 showed their commitment to The Welcome Centre way back in 2011 when the foodbank was so much smaller than today.

“They became our first corporate partner and for many years donated £300 each month to support the growth and development of the food bank.

“From there, our relationship with One 17 grew as demand for The Welcome Centre rocketed. The recession forced more people out of work and into debt; the national economy was in a poor state and changes to the benefits system meant there was an increase in the number of people who were struggling to make ends meet.

“This meant the regular monthly donations from One17 were vital for The Welcome Centre to buy stock when donations slowed.”

Since 2011 One 17 has donated nearly £23,000 in financial support as well as providing leaflets and posters at charitable rates.

Over the years, the whole team has been involved, with One 17 staff going out on Christmas shops for The Welcome Centre, making up gifts for clients and volunteering during the Storthes Hall university campus clear out.

Fast forward 10 years and The Welcome Centre remains a local foodbank but the huge demand for the service has meant considerable changes.

Due to the high levels of food poverty within South Kirklees caused not only by the economy but also by the Covid pandemic, The Welcome Centre has added so much more to its service.

They have a team of seven staff, a warehouse for donations and now provide more than 320,000 meals to local people each year.

Throughout the Covid pandemic, they adapted their service so packs were delivered to people’s homes and hundreds of clients received advice, guidance and support as well as access to additional grants.

However, The Welcome Centre needs the support of the community more than ever and once again, One 17 have provided that support by making their most recent donation of £1,000.

Caroline Lee, head of community liaison at One 17, said: “As The Welcome Centre grew from strength to strength we took a step back from monthly donations as our priority as a Trust has always been to help smaller organisations (who do not necessarily have easy access to bigger funding bodies) to grow in the same way as The Welcome Centre.

“We still really value the great work done by The Welcome Centre and continue to make donations as often as possible alongside offering our graphic design services at charitable rates.

“Our latest donation of £1,000 will help towards the running costs of the foodbank and help with the preparations to re-open the doors to clients later on this year for the first time since March 2020.”

To find out more about The Welcome Centre and becoming a business partner or to make a donation visit www.thewelcomecentre.org

For more information about One 17 Architects & Interior Designers or the One 17 Charitable Trust visit https://www.one17design.com/