Sainsbury’s Didcot sweep up a record in charity year

Published: 9th July 2015

Didcot supermarket customers and staff proved they really could live well for less by helping to raise over £4,290 for charity!

Colleagues and shoppers at the town’s Sainsbury’s in the Orchard Centre have been supporting the store’s local charity of the year, Play2Give.

The fundraising organisation was selected last July, 2014, and benefited from a year’s worth of fundraising and awareness support – with the £4,295.64 the store has raised breaking all records – the most amount of money the store has ever raised for the years for their charity partners.

Play2Give was set up by the town’s Andrew Baker, a former St Birinus School pupil, in 2007.  Andrew has been fundraising since 2003 and has now raised over £53,000 over the years with the help of supporters, friends and former schools with over £44,400 of this for the Oxford Children’s Hospital.  Andrew was inspired to raise money for the children’s hospital after receiving treatment throughout his childhood following on from a brain injury at birth, and major brain surgery aged 12, in 2001.

The group have donated over £38,400 to chosen charities since its inception – with near £30k of this for the Children’s Hospital.  The group are now only £10k of their grand £40,000 crusade to name their very own room within the Melanie’s teenage ward of the hospital. Once achieved, ‘The Play2Give Room’ will live on through the hospital and the legacy of the many thousands of supporters, including Sainsbury’s recent boost, that donations have funded.

Andrew said: “On behalf of Play2Give, I would like to thank all the customers and colleagues at the store for their incredible support over the past year.”

It is amazing that they have raised a record amount across the year, which will make a massive difference to the children in hospital and our other charities.   It is so awe-inspiring to see that the customers and colleagues took Play2Give to their hearts, and with many staff doing their own things to help raise funds.

“The awareness has been boosted no end thanks to Sainsbury’s and we are really grateful and incredibly pleased for the amazing donations and the great partnership we have had.”

Many fun and fantastic fundraising exploits and events have been held both in store and out in the wider Didcot community since the partnership began, with highlights including a sponsored stroll which Spiderman strided out to help raising over £940, to counter workers Luke Norris, 21, Chris Ewing, 27 and Ben Shaw shaving their heads in April, to nightshift worker Lee Crook who raised £641 alone through both ‘Movember’ in November and a 1000km walk over 10 weeks, to a football match contested against a Play2Give team, raffles, bake sales, bag packs and till tins.

Play2Give raised a record £9,838.81 in 2014, and this looks set to be on course to be smashed this year, with upcoming events including its annual kids football tournament at Oxford City Football Club on Sunday (July 12th), a football match in September and a family fun day on August 15th, all set to boost the total to up to £10,000.   Headway Oxfordshire and the Paediatric Eye Fund at the JR Hospital also benefit from the many fundraising endeavours.

Staff from the supermarket will visit the Children’s Hospital on Tuesday next week, 14th July, at 12.30pm and will also present the grand cheque totalling to Andrew Baker on Play2Give’s behalf.

The store is now supporting Sue Ryder Nettlebed Hospice as its local charity for 2015.

The seventh Play2Give football tournament, supporting the Children’s Hospital, takes place on Sunday at Oxford City Football Club, the family fun day at Oxsrad in Marston on Saturday, August 15th, and the football match will return in September.

Notes to  Editor: To speak to Veronica Dallas, PR Ambassador at Sainsbury’s Didcot, please phone 07904240177, for quotes/information.

Reporters/local press/photographers are welcome to cover this occasion, in what has been a celebratory year for Sainsbury’s Didcot in their record breaking charity year.