Supporting the Whitstable Community How we help the Whitstable community As a business that operates in the heart of Whitstable, it makes sense that we keep our community in our heart. Since 1962, members of the Jones family have volunteered, fundraised, and worked to help and support our community through troubled times. In more recent years, we have worked hard to address our environmental footprint and support vulnerable members of our town. After all, it's the people who live in Whitstable who make this town brilliant. Pay It Forward When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020, we decided that we should do what we could to help the vulnerable in our local community. Working alongside Food Friends and The Umbrella Cafe, we created a Pay It Forward service which has provided thousands of pounds worth of fish and chip meals (generously donated by our customers) to people in need in our community. Delivered with a smile and a wave, it's made a massive difference. We now work alongside The Haven Project, a local charity that provides a drop-in centre for homeless members of our community. VC Jones supply vouchers to provide food for days and evenings when the centre is closed. If you would like to donate to our Pay It Forward scheme, give us a call 01227 272703 or 07907 037999 or drop us an email and we'll call you back. Recycling our fats In recent years we have become more aware of the impact that businesses can have on our environment. As a result, we now recycle all of our cooking fats through a company that prepares them to be used in bio-fuel run public transport in London. We don't receive any payment for the fats that we recycle and are pleased to be able to reuse something that previously went to landfill. Working towards plastic free We're all aware of how plastic can harm our seas and oceans and, as a fish and chip shop, we want our seas and shorelines to be healthy. While we aren't quite plastic-free yet, we are constantly researching ways that we can be. Since 2020, all of our meals have been packed in biodegradable and recyclable cardboard boxes, using plastic bags that are recyclable and biodegradable. Our next step is to find cost-effective forks and serving cups that are plastic-free. Supporting local charities and organisations VC Jones regularly fundraise for local charities that are close to our hearts. We collect money for our local RNLI station and have also provided hot meals to the dementia clients and carers who use our local Age UK centre. We also regularly donate vouchers to local charities for raffles. Managing a Covid safe workplace Since the first Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020, the VC Jones team have worked hard to ensure that our staff and customers are kept as safe as possible. Measures we have implemented include: Installing a card reader and encouraging card payments Introducing contact-free deliveries Working with staff members to ensure they are happy to be in our workplace Maintaining rigorous handwashing and cleaning regimes Donating food to community projects The nature of our business means that we regularly have offcuts of fish which are perfectly edible but unsellable. Usually, they would go to landfill. Working with The Umbrella Cafe and their Food Pantry project, we donate our offcuts to be made into meals to help those in need in our community. If you are a member of the Whitstable community and are finding it hard to feed yourself and your family, contact The Umbrella Cafe and they can assist you and signpost you to other organisations who can help. Supporting the local arts Whitstable has always been known as an artistic community and we work hard to support and publicise local artists. In 2013 we printed artwork by Natalie Kay on our fish and chip paper, providing each of our customers with original and affordable art. We have also commissioned new and upcoming artists to create VC Jones inspired artwork and are proud to display their pieces in our shop. We also support The Whitstable Music Society with annual donations. As a bunch of secret creatives, we believe that creativity is at the heart of our community and support the arts in all forms. Refill Whitstable VC Jones are proud to be a part of Refill Whitstable, an initiative designed to provide free water to anyone who needs it. This helps reduce the number of empty water bottles that are disposed of in our community and on our beaches. Litter Picking Whilst we work towards becoming plastic-free, we also understand that any kind of litter can affect our local community and the animals that live in and near it. In 2020 VC Jones provided funding to buy 10 litter pickers that could be used on our beaches. Additionally, our staff perform regular litter picks during the busy summer months.