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Sainsbury’s help keep air ambulance flying

A year’s worth of fundraising and awareness support from Sainsbury’s Horsham has made a huge difference to the staff at Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance. Thanks to generous donations from customers, the store has announced they have raised £11,500 in total.

On Saturday, May 24, colleagues from the store, including store manager Derek Boarer, met with Air Ambulance pilot Mark Howard-Smith at the Horsham Store to celebrate the successful partnership.

It’s been an amazing 12 months for the charity after they entered Sainsbury’s Horsham’s Local Charity voting process back in May 2013. For the last five years, the retailer gives customers nationwide the chance to vote for their favourite Local Charity, to be considered to receive a year’s worth of support from their nearby Sainsbury’s store.

When the charity were announced as Horsham store’s new Local Charity partner for 2013/2014, the charity’s corporate and events assistant Julie Clare couldn’t wait to get started: “For a big retailer like Sainsbury’s to confirm a year’s partnership with us was just incredible news. I remember getting the phone-call and having a big grin on my face! We had our first meeting shortly after and we worked up some great ideas that we hoped would create great feedback with the store’s customers and colleagues”.

Despite the partnership coming to a close, it doesn’t mean that the charity will now be forgotten, as Store Manager Derek Boarer explains: “Our colleagues have really enjoyed working with Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance and it’s certainly touched the hearts of many of them that before didn’t necessary have a direct link to them. We know what an important part they play in the community and we hope the year-long partnership has helped remind our customers of the valuable service they provide in the Horsham area. Thanks to the partnership, we’ll certainly now be looking into ways we can support them in the future”.

Julie Clare said: “Working with Sainsbury’s Horsham over the last 12 months has made such a difference to our cause. We’ve raised a fantastic amount which we’re using towards to continue the lifesaving service we provide.  With the addition of night flying this year our costs have risen by 1 million pounds and means that the support given by Sainsbury’s Horsham and their customers has been phenomenal. We are now looking forward to working with them on future opportunities”.

Customers now have the chance to vote for a Local Charity to be Sainsbury’s Horsham’s new Local Charity Partner. Voting takes place from May 28, to June 8, while customers can also vote online from May 28, by going to www.sainsburys.co.uk/localcharity.

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