Local community retailers raise over £10,000 for charity in memory of family and colleagues

Local community retailers raise over £10,000 for charity in memory of family and colleagues

Thirty SPAR and EUROSPAR stores across the North Down and East Belfast area have together raised £10,143 for PIPs – the suicide and self-harm prevention charity for Northern Ireland – in memory of their colleague and colleague’s family member who lost their lives to suicide last year.

EUROSPAR Rathgael Road’s Assistant Manager, Jack Spurling lost his brother Gary in July, while EUROSPAR Hardford Link lost their team leader, Ryan Mills in November. The store also raised money for Ryan’s family to help with his funeral costs.

For the month of January, the neighbouring stores across the Ards, Bangor, Millisle, Portaferry and East Belfast areas also fundraised for PIPS, holding instore activities where they dressed green to symbolise International Mental Health Awareness and in memory of their friends, while staff at EUROSPAR Ladas Drive and EUROSPAR Rathgael Road clocked up the miles for donations on exercise bikes and EUROSPAR Portaferry ran prize-winning raffles while EUROSPAR Millisle held a ‘guess the sweets’ competition.

Nigel Walker, Senior Store Manager at EUROSPAR Rathgael Road, Bangor and EUROSPAR Hardford Link, Newtownards, said: “To have both our store teams affected by suicide in the past year left a huge impact on us all and we wanted to rally around our friends and their families.

“We decided the best way to honour Gary and Ryan would be to come together and raise vital funds for PIPs which is a charity doing incredible work in the local community to ensure more families and friends do not go through this heartbreak. We hope the money raised will help support individuals, family members and friends who are struggling.”

PIPS is a charity that delivers suicide prevention and bereavement support services, counselling and therapies throughout Northern Ireland. The charity provides support for individuals who are considering or who have considered, ending their own lives. PIPS also provides support to those families and friends who have been touched by suicide.

To ensure that mental health takes priority at the Henderson Group, owners of the SPAR and EUROSPAR brands in Northern Ireland, the business announced their new charity partnership with Action Mental Health back in January.

Bronagh Luke, Head of Corporate Marketing at Henderson Group added: “Having Action Mental Health as a partner ensures our staff has access to more wellbeing resources. We will aim to improve mental wellbeing across the entire workforce and support employees and their families through those challenging times.

“It was so positive to see our company owned stores work as a collective to raise money for such a personal cause. A total of five stores in the North Down and East Belfast area have collaborated to support their local employees who have been affected and we couldn’t be prouder.”