SPAR tips hats to generous farming fundraisers

Eimear McCooey, Marie Curie and Lucy McCormack from Henderson Group celebrate the success of SPAR's fundraising efforts for the palliative care charity.
Eimear McCooey, Marie Curie and Lucy McCormack from Henderson Group celebrate the success of SPAR's fundraising efforts for the palliative care charity.

SPAR NI has announced that during its recent Blooming Great Tea Parties and four days activity at Balmoral Show, it has raised over £90,000 for charity partner, Marie Curie.

SPAR’s sea of red hats returned to Balmoral Show this year, bringing in £18,260 as show goers donated what they could in return for one of the most in-demand products at the Show.

Following this fantastic total, generous shoppers helped 220 stores across Northern Ireland raise £74,876 during the Marie Curie Blooming Great Tea Party morning on 16 June.

Head of Corporate Marketing at Henderson Group, Bronagh Luke, is delighted with the engagement shoppers have with the brand and the charity, saying; “Once again, it was hard to escape the red hats at Balmoral Show, but these hard-working hats stole the show by raising a fantastic £18,260 for the palliative care charity.

“Marie Curie has been our charity partner since March 2017, and this latest influx in donations has taken us comfortably over the £200,000 mark in total funds raised, which equates to over 10,350 hours of community nursing services. Many great fundraising initiatives were undertaken by our retailers to reach this amount, including the recent Blooming Great Tea Parties which raised almost £75,000 - more than double the 2017 total.”

At Balmoral, SPAR also partnered with their local suppliers to celebrate their commitment to sourcing 75% of its fresh products from local farmers, producers and growers here. 20 producers of the SPAR enjoy local range, including Clandeboye Estate Yogurts and Ballygarvey Eggs, sampled their goods with 42,000 of the hungry crowds with their delicious local products across the four days.

SPAR’s partners, Ulster University and their Food and Consumer Testing Suite, were on hand to launch the very first ‘Super Taster’ campaign for SPAR. Just 25% of the population are classified as Supertasters – and this initiative was aimed at finding them. A massive 225 Supertasters were recruited at The Balmoral Show, many of whom will qualify as SPAR Brand Ambassadors.

In the enjoy local marquee, a series of CPR and defibrillator awareness sessions with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) were held as part of SPAR’s ambition to install over 300 Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) outside stores in NI.