Staff from Blakemore Retail made it their mission to help the disadvantaged and vulnerable this Christmas by collecting more than £15,000 worth of stock for homeless and vulnerable children.
Fifteen Blakemore Retail SPAR stores signed up to support two collection appeals for the Worcestershire Homeless Appeal and Worcester Vineyard Church’s Growbaby.
Over the festive period, collection baskets for both causes were made available to customers and staff in all fifteen SPAR stores: Batchley, Bromsgrove, Catshill, Droitwich, Fernhill Heath, Hagley, Kidderminster, Lapwood, Lawnswood, Ludlow, Tenbury Wells, Warndon, Wordsley, Wollaston and Wombourne.
The response from the local communities has been overwhelming, with support exceeding previous collection appeals hosted in store. Donations consisted of food, drink, gloves, scarves, socks and toiletries for the Worcestershire Homeless Appeal and nappies, formula milk, clothing, toys and footwear for Growbaby.
Blakemore Retail’s collections have helped the Worcestershire Homeless Appeal and Worcester Vineyard Church’s Growbaby to raise an eye-watering 6.5 tonnes. The goods are estimated to be worth almost £10,000 for the Worcestershire Homeless Appeal and £5,210 for Growbaby.
The charity and volunteers will now sort the goods into Christmas shoeboxes and gift bags to help the disadvantaged, vulnerable and homeless this Christmas.
In addition to this, the company’s charitable trust, the Blakemore Foundation, has awarded a further £3,000 to each charity via its employee match funding. This will help the charities sustain their support for vulnerable people and help the Worcestershire Homeless Appeal to purchase a new hot food van to help feed rough sleepers.
Blakemore Retail Area Manager and organiser Donna Cooper commented: “I couldn’t believe the level of support given this year; people were donating brand new sleeping bags, prams, boots and toiletry sets. I would like to thank everyone who helped to make this appeal an enormous success.
“I was particularly blown away by the colossal collections at Catshill, Bromsgrove, Batchley, Kidderminster and Fernhill Heath.
“All staff really enjoyed supporting the appeals and engaging in local community work. I am so proud they have gone the extra mile to help support those in need this Christmas and the difficult coming months.”
Worcestershire Homeless Appeal said: “We wouldn’t be able to do this without the support of local businesses like Blakemore Retail. We would like to thank each of you, from the bottom of our hearts, who has helped and supported the appeal again this year.
“We are overwhelmed by the kindness and thank the amazing staff at all the SPAR stores who went above and beyond their normal daily duties. We would also like to say a massive thank you to the Blakemore Foundation for their generosity.”
Growbaby added: “We have been blown away by the support from the SPAR stores; we have never had support like this before and it will be a massive help to local families.
“The match funding will go towards a bigger room for the Growbaby mornings and also help with storage costs.
“We would also in particular like to thank Donna Cooper, who it has been a pleasure to meet, and all of the Blakemore Retail store teams.”