Two-year partnership turns into five & raises £1.5m for Newlife


Two-year partnership turns into five & raises £1.5m for Newlife Fundraising UK Ltd April 26, 2018 7:23 am April 26, 2018 7:23 am

A partnership between Central England Co-operative and Newlife that was intended to last two years has run for five, raising £1.5m for the charity.

Employees of Central England Co-operative had voted Newlife as its Charity of the Year for 2012/13, with a diary of fundraising activities to provide specialist equipment for disabled children across the retailer’s trading area.

The partnership last for five years however, with Central England Co-op employees undertaking a host of fundraising activities throughout the years including in-store cake sales, sparkle parties, raffles, skydives, challenge events and the London Marathon.

The impact of working with the charity on staff, customers and the community, as well as its guarantee that any money raised by Central England Co-operative would be used locally were key factors in the partnership’s longevity.

Sarah Ashton, PR Manager for Central England Co-op said:

“Really early on in our fundraising partnership with Newlife it was clear that working with the charity was having a positive impact on our colleague engagement, customers and wider community, so we chose to extend the partnership.

“Working with a charity for so many years in succession was unprecedented for Central England Co-op and the level of colleague engagement was remarkable throughout from board level right the way to the shop floor.”

“What struck us about Newlife was its ability to provide a 100% guarantee, so any money raised through our stores and funeral homes would be spent to buy desperately needed disability equipment for a child within a two mile radius of a particular store.

“For our colleagues, the knowledge that the money they raise will help one of their own customers was a huge incentive. And for customers, knowing the local community would benefit directly instead of it being spent across the UK was a big motivator.”

Sustainability and environmental performance also played a role in developing the long-term partnership between the two organisations. Newlife is the preferred recycling partner for more than 200 leading high-street fashion brands and retailers including River Island, Marks and Spencer and Primark.

Nora Smith, Head of Community Fundraising & Appeals for Newlife, said:

“Newlife’s commercial recycling division generates yearly profits of around £2.2million, from selling end of line, de-labelled stock donated to us by high street fashion and homeware brands. The income from sales of the fashion and homeware stock sold through our six stores around the Midlands enables Newlife to meet its charitable objectives.

“The benefit for partners, such as Central England Co-op, is that every penny raised through their community fundraising efforts is spent directly on helping children locally within their trading area.”