Newhaven Mencap is Sainsbury’s charity of the year

Owls are out and about in Newhaven
Owls are out and about in Newhaven

A charity which looks after people with learning difficulties in Newhaven will receive a year of support from a supermarket.

Newhaven Mencap has been chosen as Sainsbury’s Newhaven charity of the year and will benefit from fundraising.

The store in Drove Road will also be raising awareness about the group amongst staff and shoppers for the next year.

Joint chairman of Newhaven Mencap Arlene Woolford said: “We know the success that the local charity partnership has bought to many local charities so when we received the recent phone call to tell us the news, we were thrilled.

“We hope the partnership will raise awareness of our cause to the store’s customers and help us develop the important service we provide to the community.”

Sainsbury’s store manager Angus Murray said: “We’ve had a great response from our customers this year, both through in-store and online votes.

“We’re delighted to have chosen a charity which touched many of our colleagues’ hearts.

“We will now be working closely with the charity to ensure they really benefit from being our local charity for the next 12 months.”

The first fundraising event for Newhaven Mencap was supported by Owls Out and About during the weekend of August 9 and 10.

This followed a visit to the store from Mencap volunteers to discuss how the charity and Sainsbury’s staff can work together. A series of fundraising and awareness raising activities are now being prepared for the coming year, including Quiz Nights, Tombolas, a Christmas Raffle and collections.

The retailer’s Local Charity scheme is now in its sixth year and gives customers the chance to vote for their favourite local charity to be considered to receive a year’s worth of support from their Sainsbury’s store.

Last year it raised about £4,000 for its charity of the year.

The scheme has raised over £6 million to support local charities since 2009.

Customers had a huge say in this year’s announcement and voted in-store and online between May 28 and June 8.

The store colleagues then decided that Mencap was the best charity for them to work with to make a real difference in their area.