Store celebrates success of year-long partnership with ir ambulance

Sainsbury's staff with , store manager Derek Boarer handing the cheque to Air Ambulance pilot Mark Howard-Smith. Dr Dudley the Air Ambulance Mascot is also pictured.

Sainsbury's staff with , store manager Derek Boarer handing the cheque to Air Ambulance pilot Mark Howard-Smith. Dr Dudley the Air Ambulance Mascot is also pictured.

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A year’s worth of fundraising and awareness support from Sainsbury’s Horsham has made a huge difference to the staff at Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance.

Thanks to generous donations from customers, the store has announced they have raised £11,500 in total. On Saturday 24th May colleagues from the store, including Store Manager Derek Boarer, met with Air Ambulance Pilot Mark Howard-Smith at the Horsham Store to celebrate the successful partnership.

It’s been an amazing 12 months for the charity after they entered Sainsbury’s Horsham’s Local Charity voting process back in May 2013. For the last five years, the retailer gives customers nationwide the chance to vote for their favourite Local Charity, to be considered to receive a year’s worth of support from their nearby Sainsbury’s store.

When the charity were announced as Horsham store’s new Local Charity partner for 2013/2014, the charity’s corporate and events assistant Julie Clare couldn’t wait to get started: “For a big retailer like Sainsbury’s to confirm a year’s partnership with us was just incredible news. I remember getting the phone-call and having a big grin on my face! We had our first meeting shortly after and we worked up some great ideas that we hoped would create great feedback with the store’s customers and colleagues”.

Throughout the last 12 months, colleagues at the store held several activities to raise funds and awareness of the charity’s cause. These included Quiz Night’s, Cake Sales and a Bike Ride. Meanwhile, the store also took part in the Rotary Club’s Giraffe Trail, which helped to £350 for Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance in donations and the final auction.

Despite the partnership coming to a close, it doesn’t mean that the charity will now be forgotten, as store manager Derek Boarer explains: “Our colleagues have really enjoyed working with Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance and it’s certainly touched the hearts of many of them that before didn’t necessary have a direct link to them. We know what an important part they play in the community and we hope the year-long partnership has helped remind our customers of the valuable service they provide in the Horsham area. Thanks to the partnership, we’ll certainly now be looking into ways we can support them in the future.”

Julie Clare said: “Working with Sainsbury’s Horsham over the last 12 months has made such a difference to our cause. We’ve raised a fantastic amount which we’re using towards to continue the lifesaving service we provide. With the addition of night flying this year our costs have risen by 1 million pounds and means that the support given by Sainsbury’s Horsham and their customers has been phenomenal. We are now looking forward to working with them on future opportunities.”

Customers now have the chance to vote for a Local Charity to be Sainsbury’s Horsham’s new Local Charity Partner. Voting takes place from 28th May to 8th June, while customers can also vote online from 28th May by going to www.sainsburys.co.uk/localcharity.

A shortlist of nominations will be drawn up after the closing date and the store’s colleagues will then invite the three charities that they feel best fit the needs of the community into store to talk about how Sainsbury’s can support them. The chosen charity will be selected based on the reasons given and the store will announce their chosen charity in July.

Pictured are Sainsbury’s staff with store manager Derek Boarer handing the cheque to Air Ambulance pilot Mark Howard-Smith. Dr Dudley the Air Ambulance Mascot is also pictured.