Leading convenience symbol group SPAR has announced the winners of its second £100,000 Community Cashback scheme launched in January this year.
Following the success of last year’s scheme, shoppers from all over the UK were invited to apply for a grant to go to a small local organisation or charity, that they felt deserving of some extra funding for the exceptional contribution they made to their community.
The grants available covered all geographical regions across the UK with amounts up to £10,000 available, with the total pool of grants valued at £100,000.
Remarkably, over 13,500 applications were received (8,500 more than the target) during the process which ran from 1 Feb until 15 March.
Winners of £10,000 grants were:
– Ty Hapus CIO in AF Blakemore’s region
– Rainbow Hub in James Hall’s region
– Fox & Friends in CJ Lang & Son’s region
– Air Ambulance NI in Henderson Group’s region
– Appleby Westward chose 18 local recipients to receive a slice of their £20,000 donation fund in recognition of their exceptional community work. The overall winner was Cornish charity Coast Medic who provide professional medical care to casualties at sea and received a £2,250 grant, while Bridport community group Stepping Out Cancer Rehabilitation Group received £2,000 towards its much-needed service.
Suzanne Dover, SPAR UK Brand and Marketing Director, said: “We have been overwhelmed with the response to our UK wide 2023 Community Cashback scheme and we are really pleased to be able to award thirty very worthy local causes with a grant.
“We believe in nurturing our neighbourhoods and supporting the communities we serve, and this scheme is another way we are helping to do this, especially now when deserving local organisations need some extra financial support.
“We are known for nurturing our neighbourhoods and these grants are a way for SPAR to give back to small organisation’s that shop in our stores.”
£10,000 SPAR Community Cashback grant recipient Colleen Milligan from Air Ambulance NI commented: “Funding is absolutely crucial to keeping us in the air and responding to Northern Ireland’s most critical incidents. We are living and working in the most challenging of times with everyone tightening their belts, so to have the Community Cashback Grant Scheme available is quite literally lifesaving.
“We want to extend our thanks to SPAR NI for this generous donation, it is support like this that we rely on entirely and without it we wouldn’t be able to keep going, so it is so greatly appreciated.”
Lyndsay Fahey, CEO of Rainbow Hub, said: “Our message to SPAR and the Community Cashback Scheme 2023 is thank you! We could not do it without the support we receive, and it really does mean the world to us.
“This will make a tremendous difference to us and the families that we support. Families describe Rainbow Hub as their lifeline and many of the children don’t access any other therapies other than the time they are with us.
“We see small miracles happening every day at Rainbow Hub as many of the children who come here have been told they would never be able to walk or talk.
“One of our biggest challenges is fundraising. We’re a small local charity reliant on donations and we need to raise £700,000 every year. Hearing that we had got the £10,000 grant from SPAR was incredible. The whole team was so excited.
Tess Thomas from Ty Hapus CIO said: “A huge thank you to the SPAR Community Cashback scheme 2023. This will allow us to provide an extra day of fun activities for our guests and a day of vital respite for their carers.”
Lisa Davidson, Founder of Fox & Friends added: “To be selected for a 2023 SPAR Community Cashback grant is simply amazing. I never in a million years expected that our little Highland charity would be considered for the top fund!
“Without a suitable office and storage space we would really struggle to take our little enterprise much further. This fund will help us to create our own space for the charity, where we can thrive and grow with demand. Essentially this money will help us to help thousands of people all over the Highlands and that is just amazing.
“We are very grateful to everyone involved in this fund and I personally will never forget that the SPAR shop have been such an integral part of this new Social Enterprise! Thank you SPAR and everyone involved.”
SPAR UK support thousands of local charities and support groups every year. SPAR stores are situated in the heart of the communities they serve, and with the £100,000 Community Cashback scheme shoppers across the UK have been given the chance to make their communities better.
The top 100 shortlisted charities will be showcased across SPAR social channels and website for a single month, giving them valuable exposure.
The 2023 campaign is being supported by SPAR UK and all five SPAR RDCs with extra PR, digital amplification opportunities, and more promotion in SPAR stores with POS and SPAR Radio.
Visit www.spar.co.uk for more information.