The force was with Sainsbury’s Didcot in Star Wars fundraiser for PlayStation appeal

Published: 23rd June 2016

May the force be with you… and it certainly was the case for Sainsbury’s in Didcot as generous customers and colleagues dug deep at the store to support a fundraising drive for entertainment at the Oxford Children’s Hospital.

The store in June held a raffle over three days as part of an appeal using life-size Star Wars characters to help raise funds for the entertainment of PlayStation for the John Radcliffe paediatric unit’s teenage ward.

After hearing that controllers to a PlayStation 3 were stolen from Melanie’s Ward the store responded and used the opportunity to gather up funds by raffling three giant cardboard cut outs of two of the characters from the popular film franchise which was driven by Didcot’s Andrew Baker.

Andrew, 28, a former checkout colleague at the store, and founder of charity Play2Give, is no stranger to supporting the hospital as he has raised money for the facility, which opened in January 2007, over the past 14 years.    The raffle in the store’s foyer was so successful with over £210 raised in ticket sales.  The store now aim to raise an additional £100 or more to buy a new PlayStation, games and controllers for the teenage ward with a sold-out quiz night on June 29th and car screen washing at its petrol station next month, in which volunteers are being appealed to come forward to help.

The Didcot branch of the supermarket chain has been incredibly supportive of the children’s hospital in the past, through supporting Play2Give’s fundraising aims with second hand book sales, wristband sales, a raffle at a recent staff party and adopting the fundraising organisation, set up by Andrew, over the course of a year from July 2014, which saw a record £4,310 raised by the store’s colleagues and customers through 12 months of fundraising.

Andrew added: ‘The store always is fantastic when it comes to fundraising and the children’s hospital is no exception.   I was only too happy to help to help with this appeal. Having been a patient in my childhood I know only too well from first-hand experience how important entertainment is for boredom and to help recovery whilst in hospital.  When I was on the Radcliffe Infirmary teenage unit, the facilities was so outdated that the TVs didn’t work and there was no PlayStations – so seeing the generosity of the customers really melted my heart and can’t wait to see the smiles on the teens faces when we deliver the goodies later in the year.’

Notes to Editors: 

  • To contact Veronica Dallas, PR Ambassador, Sainsbury’s Didcot: 01235 814159
  • To speak to Andrew Baker, Play2Give: 07939064308 /
  • The Sainsbury’s charity quiz night for the children’s hospital takes place on 29 June in the customer café. Tickets sales were a sell-out.   There will also a raffle with a fish and chips supper.
  • Volunteers are needed for the store’s car screen washing service next month.   The car washes will take place between 12pm-3pm on the 16th July and 23rd July. Anyone interested should contact Veronica at the store or Andrew Baker.

Picture: Andrew Baker with Lucas Cox, 9, a patient of the Oxford Children’s Hospital and little helper of the raffle inspiring funds