Published on 22 December 2020
Covid-19 created a greater need for desperate families on Wearside to access the two foodbanks running every week by Peter Asuata and his wife Aimee at the RCCG Living Faith Church in Sunderland.
Peter was determined not to allow the lockdown to stop providing support to those in need. Not satisfied with helping others through food donations, Peter managed to secure funding to purchase a minibus which he uses to distribute food and essential items door-to-door to those greatly affected by the virus.
In addition, he has set-up a healthcare recruitment agency, Step In Care, and a housing initiative that provides better housing for the homeless and less-privileged called Asuata Housing.
In addition, everyone who is already using their services will be getting a Christmas Hamper delivered to their doorstep. This is thanks to the fundraising of University of Sunderland’s Sarah Ford, a senior lecturer in HMR and Leadership, business and Associate Professor in Cultural Management, Dr Derek Watson.
It’s no surprise Peter has dedicated so much of his time to good causes, as he continues to study a PhD in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) looking at the role of regional companies in giving back to society.
His incredible work ethic comes from his mother and humble upbringing in a small Nigerian village which he believes shaped the person he is today, dedicated to improving life of others.
Peter said: “We want to help as many families as we can escape hunger and poverty. All sorts of people come through our doors, and request support via email and social media. Those struggling with substance misuse or homelessness, asylum seekers, those just released from prison, as well as families struggling with the impact of the coronavirus, we never turn anyone away irrespective of their race, religion, or background.
“As a Christian I have a responsibility to help others in need, because that is the core foundation of Christianity, and never has there been a greater need than right now.”
Peter, who also works as an academic tutor in the University’s Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism, has managed to negotiate and partner with some of the area’s major food outlets and supermarkets for collections of food that would otherwise go to waste, such as Aldi, Greggs, KFC, Tesco etc. He then hands out the provisions during the week to people who have used up their allocation of food bank vouchers, the low-income earners, those affected with universal credit delay, those who lose their job due to COVID-19, and to the homeless.
Associate Professor in Cultural Management, Dr Derek Watson, said: “Peter’s driven vision to help the local community has transformed into a show case example and is clearly gaining momentum. As an academic tutor, Peter is actively embedding his community engagement within our business programmes and enriching our student learning journeys.
“We are already formulating live case studies and exploring both physical and virtual student placements within Peter’s charity. This is another example of our reciprocal business relationship building. One in which we are committed in supporting the local community and providing vital employability exposure within our student community.”
Peter and Aimee have given thanks to a number of companies for their support and donations, they include: Sunderland City council, Aldi, Tesco, Lidl, KFC, Greggs, Hilton Garden Inn Sunderland, Community Lottery Fund, Green Pasture and Co-op.
About Peter Asuata
Peter relocated to Sunderland in 2014 to study a Master’s in Business management (MBM) at the University of Sunderland. After deciding to further his studies with a PhD in Corporate Social Responsibility, Peter says: “I chose Sunderland to study because I felt my family would benefit being away from the hustle and bustle of the Capital.”
He said: “I often get asked how I navigate my day; this really comes from my upbringing. I grew up in a small village, to a single mother, with four other children. We rose at 4am, sold goods to buy breakfast, then went to school for 7am, finished lessons at 2.30pm and were back selling items until 8pm to help buy dinner. That work ethic is in me. You had to take responsibility for yourself from a very early age.
“By age 15 I was living alone, paying my own rent and paving my own way.
“I loved doing it, because whether I like it or not, at every point in our lives, there are people who are always worse off than ourselves. I feel like I have this platform to help people, so why wouldn’t I do it?
“I hope I am a good role model for my children. They all help out at the church, where we have a mission to feed the people of Sunderland’s community spirit, soul, and body by providing food, clothes, health awareness, and decent housing”
Asked what the future holds, Peter says he hopes to use his PhD to become a senior lecturer at Sunderland and hopes one day to become a professor, as well as work with local companies to promote the benefits of CSR. He also added that his own family love the area and are happily settled here