West Leeds: Language no barrier to help

Thebigword staff with the company's foodbank collection.
Thebigword staff with the company's foodbank collection.
Have your say

A foodbank charity has teamed up with a global translation firm to ensure language is no barrier for people who need help.

Leeds (West) Foodbank in Farsley, which is run by a group of churches in West Leeds, provides food to people living in crisis in the area.

The charity also gives people the opportunity to talk about their problems and supports them in finding other help.

Translation and interpretation company, thebigword, which has its headquarters in Lower Wortley, has pledged a free interpretation service to the charity, to ensure people who speak little or no English can access the same quality of support.

Bernie Byrne, group client services director at thebigword, said: “Foodbanks not only provide local people with emergency food if they experience a crisis, they are also places where people can access support and someone to talk to about their problems.

“By providing the charity with free interpretation services, we can help people who speak any language to engage with the foodbank volunteers who can then signpost them to further support agencies. We are literally at the end of a telephone line to help ensure people get the best support possible.”

The company has also set up its own foodbank collection point at its Leeds office for supplies such as fruit juices, powdered milk and nappies.

Karen Burgon, project lead for Leeds (West and North) Foodbank, said: “Thebigword has not only set up its own foodbank collection point, to help us maintain supplies of core food items, it is also removing the language barrier to those seeking help. This service will be extremely beneficial for our volunteers and, ultimately, the people most in need.”