After gathering more than four tonnes of food donations for the local community, in a charity initiative devised by staff, Polestar’s Manchester Space is set to open its doors to the public for the first time.
Inspired by Marcus Rashford’s Feeding Britain’s Children documentary, the staff realised that during lockdown they could use their assets and resources to help the local community. Instead of waiting to open, they kick-started a charity campaign that involved all of Polestar’s UK staff, members of the media and various celebrities.
The #NoWasteofSpace campaign gathered donations to be distributed via Fareshare UK’s local foodbank hubs. Empty Polestar #NoWasteofSpace boxes were sent to unsuspecting but willing recipients to fill with non-perishable food and personal care items, for distribution to FareShare Greater Manchester and FareShare Merseyside.
The response from those who took part was overwhelming and the hashtag quickly went viral on social media. Many participants even used the campaign as part of their home-schooling curriculum to teach their children the importance of giving without expecting to receive.
Polestar UK received a total of 325 filled boxes weighing 2.2 tonnes. Polestar UK then matched the donations kilo-for-kilo, raising the amount distributed to Fareshare UK to 4.4 tonnes. Fareshare UK says this is enough to provide more than 10,000 meals for vulnerable people in the Greater Manchester area.
Celebrities taking part in the initiative included comedian Jason Manford and Dynasty actress Emma Samms. Swedish international footballer and Manchester United player Victor Lindelöf shared his filled box on Instagram, and Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and Chelsea F.C Women players Pernile Harder and Magdalena Eriksson all dug deep for the cause.
Striking upon the idea to use their Polestar test drive cars, which have been sitting idle due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Manchester Space team will use the all-electric fleet to deliver the boxes in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. With the quantities involved, 10 Polestar 2 models will be used to ferry the boxes to Fareshare’s hubs, along with support from Geely group company London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC), which supplied a VN5 electric van to assist with the deliveries.
Jonathan Goodman, head of Polestar UK, said: “We could never have envisaged the incredible response this campaign received, and the generosity of all who took part is truly heart-warming. In 2021 it’s awful to think that some of the nation’s most vulnerable are having to go without basic items.
“I’m glad the Manchester team were able to use our resources to help such a worthy cause. We’re looking forward to continuing this effort once the Trafford Centre has re-opened, working with the other retailers and centre management to support the community around our latest Space.”
Miranda Kaunang, head of development at FareShare Greater Manchester, said: “The Covid-19 crisis has been particularly challenging for those we work with, so Polestar’s #NoWasteofSpace campaign is particularly timely.
“The efforts of the Polestar Manchester team while they wait to re-open has generated an incredible response. With over 10,000 meals donated through their initiative, this campaign will make a real difference to those in need. Thank you to everyone at Polestar.”