Crewe-based specialist food manufacturer Wrights Food Group has made a £3k donation to support the flood victims of Timor-Leste in South East Asia.

The funds are being donated to the Timor-Leste Red Cross Society, which has been working in East Timor since 2000. The charity says the income from Wrights will be used to help families rebuild their homes, repair damaged roads and help construct new shelters for around 1500 people left homeless by the floods, believed to be the worst that the area of Dili has seen for more than 40 years.

Wrights Food Group technical director Reshima Bungar, said it was important to the company to show solidarity and support for its team members whose families live on Timor-Leste, an island north of the Timor Sea and Australia.

“Around 38% of our team here in Crewe originate from Timor-Leste and many of those still have family living in the area affected. The floods in April caused landslides, washed away homes and took lives. The Red Cross Timor-Leste is now working on the recovery process and have confirmed our donation will not only help cover the cost of homes and roads but will help provide family kits including blankets, food parcels and mosquito nets.”

Wrights Food Group has been a local employer in Stoke and Crewe since the business began in 1926 when Jack and Lizzie Wright sold pies to neighbours from their Stoke-on-Trent doorstep. Based across two manufacturing sites in Crewe and operating out of 15 stores across Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire, the company’s 600 strong workforce manufactures and distributes savoury products, confectionery and ready meals into retail and hospitality sectors.

President of Timor-Leste Red Cross, Madalena da Costa Hanjan Soares, said the situation in Timor Leste is heartbreaking with families making a choice between having a safe shelter, adequate food and water, or trying to avoid the spread of this deadly COVID-19 virus.

She said: ‘This is a race against time. The longer people have to stay in these temporary shelters, the higher the risk of a mass outbreak. We are so grateful to have the support from Wrights Food Group. Their donation will assist staff and volunteers to support the vulnerable people and make our work much easier and safe.” 

Afonso De Carvalho, Wrights Food Group’s savoury factory acting shift manager whose family has been affected by the floods in Timor-Leste added: “It has been a very difficult time for all our families. When we spoke to our colleagues here at Wrights about the floods back home, they wanted to do what they could to help. Our colleagues have donated monies and we are so pleased to know that the company’s £3,000 will be put to such good use and we would like to thank Mr Wright for this. There’s a long way to go yet and help is still needed, but it means a lot to those of us from Timor-Leste to know our employer has the compassion and willingness to help.”

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