Tesco colleagues in Ballymena have been recognised as the top store for charity fundraising across Northern Ireland.
Tesco Ballymena Superstore and Carniny Express store raised £48,382.44 towards the £17 million raised nationally through the National Charity Partnership, which launched in January 2015, putting them first out of all 54 stores across Northern Ireland.
Ballymena Superstore raised £40,685.26 and Ballymena Carniny Express raised a total of £7,697.18.
All money being raised is in aid of the National Charity Partnership, a partnership between Diabetes UK, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Tesco, to tackle Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease.
Fundraising activities have included a series of themed weekends, such as Superhero Weekend, Rock the Shop, Rio De Tesco and Rudolph Race.
These took place at Tesco stores nationwide and helped raise vital funds for the partnership in Northern Ireland. One of the biggest events was ‘Ballymena Youth of the 80s Reunion Party’ in January which raised £5864.40.
Every month there are fundraising activities and the next large event will be the Annual Motorcycle Run on Sunday, August 29. This event will be in memory of Tesco colleague, Susan Best, who helped organise this event for the last six years. Proceeds will be donated to Macmillian Cancer Support at Antrim Area Hospital.
In September 2016, hundreds of volunteers from Diabetes UK and the BHF across Northern Ireland came together for the first time to help lead on successful bucket collections at Tesco stores nationwide, raising a fantastic £216,000 for the partnership.
Fionnuala Savage, Regional Fundraising Manager for the National Charity Partnership, said: “I’d like to thank Tesco colleagues from Ballymena for their commitment to involve their customers and fundraise for this cause. To be the number one store for fundraising across Northern Ireland is truly inspiring.
“In Northern Ireland today, around 89,000 people are living with Type 2 diabetes, with a further 330,000 at increased risk of the condition.
“In addition to sight loss and nerve damage, diabetes can increase the risk of heart and circulatory disease. There are an estimated 225,000 people living with heart and circulatory disease in Northern Ireland today, with many more at serious risk.
“We’re working together with Tesco customers to help make a difference and help hundreds of thousands of people to lower their risk of both.”
Debbie McConnell, Store Manager of Tesco Ballymena Superstore added: “We are absolutely delighted Ballymena are the top fundraising stores in Northern Ireland.
“It’s an incredible achievement and a tribute to store colleagues and customers for their wonderful fundraising efforts. This is the final year of the National Charity Partnership with the British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK, and I would like to encourage our customers and colleagues to continue to show your support during our fundraising events.”
The National Charity Partnership between Diabetes UK, the BHF and Tesco aims to raise £30 million by 2018, with the majority of the fundraising coming from Tesco colleagues.
Half of the money raised by the partnership is being invested into a number of community health programmes across the UK, all designed to inspire millions of people to boost their health and wellbeing by making small, positive changes to their lifestyle.
Physical activity and a healthy diet are both known to reduce people’s risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease – conditions that affect millions in the UK.
The programmes funded by the partnership aim to get people moving more and eating better to help people look after their long-term health. The rest of the money is helping to fund the vital and ongoing work of Diabetes UK and the BHF.
In Northern Ireland free, fun events and programmes are being delivered in Londonderry and Castlederg. The delivery of Make, Move and Munch Clubs and Beat the Street are also set to inspire thousands of individuals in Belfast and surrounding areas to eat better and get active.
To find out more about Tesco fundraising for the National Charity Partnership visit www.tescocharitypartnership.org.uk