AF Blakemore has extended its charitable trust to recognise the wide range of community activity undertaken by independent Spar stores across the Meridian & Welsh Guild.
The Blakemore Foundation, which represents two per cent of AF Blakemore’s pre-tax profits, was opened up to independent Spar retailers in May.
So far four retailers have benefited from the scheme, which provides a £150 match fund donation to local good causes supported by independent retailers.
AF.Blakemore’s community affairs officer, Kate Senter, who oversees the Blakemore Foundation, said: “The scheme demonstrates AF Blakemore’s ongoing commitment to adding value to our trade partners and also making a positive impact in the communities we serve.
“The Spar estate that we serve represents hundreds of true community stores that play a vital role within their neighbourhoods.
“This scheme has been set up to recognise and reward the great community retailers that we have across the Meridian & Welsh Guild and encourage more stores to engage with local good causes.”
Spar retailers to have benefited from the programme already include Dyfed Thomas of Llandysul, who supported the 1st Llandysul Scout Group; Charotte Fuller, of Rochester, who donated funds to the Oliver Fisher Special Care Baby Trust; Jag Aytain, of Linton Post Office, who has developed links with Linton Primary School and Andrew Nardone, of Ettington, who helped support Ettington Preschool.
Retailer Jag Aytain held a community fun day to raise funds for new sports equipment at nearby Linton Primary School. The fun day helped raise £150, which was match funded by the Blakemore Foundation.
Ayrtain, who opened the Spar store earlier this year said: “Linton Primary School is at the heart of our local community and close to the hearts of many of my staff.
“We hope that the donations will help the school purchase the equipment it needs and will encourage our local youngsters to get active.”
Senter said: “I am delighted that we have our first batch of retailers involved with the Foundation scheme and would encourage even more to get involved.
“The application process is simple and the scheme provides a great way for retailers to engage with their communities and differentiate themselves from the competition.”
The scale of the Blakemore Foundation has grown enormously in recent years. The number of donations made by the fund stood at 1,999 in the 2012/13 financial year, up from just 228 in 2006/07.