FLOWER sales, tombolas and tough running challenges have all helped raise more than £17,500 for a North East hospice, which was chosen as a supermarket’s Charity of the Year for the second year running.

Staff at Sainsbury’s, in Silksworth, took part in various fundraising events over 48 months to raise funds for St Benedict’s Hospice, in nearby Ryhope – their chosen charity following an in-store vote.

Their efforts included two Great North Runs, Sunderland and Gateshead 10Ks, donating flowers to sell at the hospice, tombolas, charity nights, books sales, Christmas bag packing, collection buckets and raffles.

A volunteer in the café at St Benedict’s, Betty Smith raised up to £400 by selling the hospice’s Christmas cards in store. And every time customers bought carrier bags, the money was donated to St Benedict’s. The total raised was £17,564.

Rob Fraser, 53, PR ambassador at the Silkworth store, said: “St Benedict’s Hospice has touched so many lives in Sunderland and many of the staff have personal experience of how brilliant the hospice is. We were delighted to do our bit in raising funds for them.

“We’ve had close contact over the two years we’ve been doing it and even though they’ll no longer be our designated charity, that close relationship will continue.”

Catrina Flynn, head of fundraising operations at St Benedict’s, said: “The good thing about Sainsbury’s is they choose a local charity and the relationship has been fantastic throughout – we’re so grateful to all the staff for their support over the last two years. A few of the staff have even gone on to become volunteers at the hospice so they’ve gone above and beyond to support us.”

Pic cap: L-R are Megan Dove, store manager Tom Phillipson, Dawn Butler, Catrina Flynn, head of fundraising operations at St Benedict’s, Michael Bruton and Rob Fraser.


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