EVEN RETAILERS HAVE A SOFT SIDE FOR SUPPORTING NATIONAL CHARITIES

Simon and George from the Consett and District Branch of the Royal British Legion are joined by ASDA Management team Marsha and Anne.

Many consumers tend not to realise some of the extensive community work that our local supermarkets are involved with, including both local

Simon and George from the Consett and District Branch of the Royal British Legion are joined by ASDA Management team Marsha and Anne.
Simon and George from the Consett and District Branch of the Royal British Legion are joined by ASDA Management team Marsha and Anne.

and national charities that, especially now, need all the help they can get.

One such supermarket is the Stanley branch of ASDA who, not only do this on a regular basis, but also support outside charities in ways that tend not to be recognised fully by the general public.

ASDA are perhaps better known for supporting the breast cancer campaign, “Tickled Pink” through their instore fundraising activities. However, they do support a number of other charities through various methods.

One of their regular support programmes involves the tokens received by shoppers at the checkouts and then dropped into the token banks located, in this instance, opposite the self service section of the tills.

In the last couple of weeks, two of the collections have been in aid of the Northumbria Blood Bikes Service and the Royal British Legion. Then, over the Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th of October, ASDA invited both charities to put on physical displays in the store in order to do some additional personal fundraising.

Firstly, on the Saturday, the Consett and District Royal British Legion appeared in the store with a display of fundraising merchandise that is tied to both the work they do and the armed forces personnel whom they support.

The Royal British Legion was set founded in 1921 not to just to support those who had fought in the two recognised world wars, but in every

Northumbria Blood Bike riders, Philippa Bromley and Paul Cain pictured with one of the impressive blood bikes
Northumbria Blood Bike riders, Philippa Bromley and Paul Cain pictured with one of the impressive blood bikes

conflict involving the British forces since 1945.Including those who are still fighting for the freedoms that every one of us enjoys today.

So, is it any wonder that they are the UK’s leading Armed Forces Charity and, in being one of its largest membership organisations, members get together from all over the country, and abroad, to participate in fundraising, social and welfare activities.

The Legion is also the national Custodian of Remembrance and safeguards the Military Covenant between the nation and its Armed Forces and is best known for the annual Poppy Appeal and its emblem the red poppy.

The last 18 months have been particularly important for the Consett and District branch as they very nearly closed but, following a major remodernisation plan, they survived and recently succeeded in welcoming their very first two Honorary Youth Members into the Consett branch. And membership is open to everyone with an interest in what the Royal British Legion does in insuring that remembrance is kept alive and that the sacrifices that our brave men and women in the fircs are not forgotten.

To continue with their drive to provide financial, social and emotional care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces – past and present and their dependents and carers, they are always looking for volunteers and the Consett and District Branch of the Royal British Legion meets every 18:30 every first Wednesday of the month in the Freemasons Arms, Consett.

Following their successful visit to ASDA, Branch Chairman, George McKay said of the event, “ We had a fantastic time in ASDA and raised £518.44. Plus, we gave out membership forms to everyone who asked and I was a pleasure chatting to customers about what the RBL does. Both at local and national level and we’d like to thank everyone who donated”.

The Consett and District branch will be continuing with their schedule of events over the next couple of months with a Christmas Party on November 30th and a Beat the Drum event on 5th December at the Consett YMCA where there will also be a special folk style World War One sing-a-long,

Another successful day was had on the Sunday when representatives from the Northumbria Blood Bikers team paid a visit, in the same vein, to the store to fundraise for one of the most important medical services that we have in this region.

Covering an area from Berwick Upon Tweed, down to Darlington and sometimes across borders to Carlisle and Cumbria, depending in the

A selection of fundraising items on show from the Consett and District Royal British Legion
A selection of fundraising items on show from the Consett and District Royal British Legion

need, the Blood Bikers provide on out-of-hours motorcycle based service that’s completely free and in place to transfer blood products, test results and blood samples that would otherwise be done by courier, to hospitals at the Trust or hospital’s expense.

The service, which covers 365 days a year and which is manned by volunteers at no cost to the NHS, relies on donations and support to be able to carry on with this extremely important service and is always on the lookout for volunteers which are fully trained by the unit.

All drivers are trained up to a standard far higher than the legal requirement and they all hold an advanced driving qualification to ensure a professional standard of driving at every time.

Amongst the team on duty on the day, in the ASDA car park, were Philippa Bromley and Paul Cain (Both pictured) with one of the impressive Northumbrian Blood Bikes. Which appeared to attract major interest did the opportunity to raise funds for the team.

So, overall, another successful weekend for the fundraising efforts of ASDA in Stanley and, of course, the Northumbrian Blood Bikes and the Royal British Legion. Plus, a look at the good causes that the in-store fundraising does and just how those little green tokens help.

 

Further details regarding events at ASDA can be found at www.asda.com

To contact the Consett and District Branch of the Royal British Legion, log onto their Facebook page or call 07754827784

To contact the Northumbria Blood Bikes, please visit their website at www.northumbriabloodbikes.org.uk


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I am a professional photographer,journalist and writer with over 35 years of experience in producing award-winning images and articles covering a multitude if subjects that have ranged from popular music, film and charity events to celebrity, live events and press /media coverage. Along the way, I have run my own businesses and have held editorial and photo-library managerial positions. However, photography and meeting people have always been my passions. I have been fortunate in getting to meet a number of my favourite celebrities across the years as well as many, many others. I have also covered many state events, regional events and other such occasions. Many of my favourites having been in London, South Tyneside and regions around the country. And, especially, abroad in cities such as Paris. I still get a thrill from seeing my work in print. Even after all these years.

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