Our colleagues choose a charity to support from their local community in our Local Charity of the Year scheme.
We believe it's important that we continue to make a difference where our customers and colleagues live. Our stores support over a thousand charities through our Local Charity of the Year initiative. Every year, each of our stores select a local charity to support, where they believe they can make the most difference, with fundraising and volunteering throughout the year. Our colleagues shortlist three charities and the final vote goes to our customers in-store and online.
What we’re doing
In 2014-2015, our Hedge End store in Southampton raised over £26,000 for its local hospital charity PLANETS. The charity raises money for pancreatic, liver and neuroendocrine tumours.
PLANETS was founded after a Sainsbury’s colleague, who had worked at the store for 10 years, sadly passed away. She had received invaluable care from the hospital that extended her life for two years.
The charity hosted network meetings for colleagues where volunteers shared their experiences of being diagnosed. There were bucket collections and fundraising at cake sales, quiz nights, the colleagues' Christmas lunch, and food and drink tasting evenings. Some brave colleagues even abseiled down the Spinnaker tower in Portsmouth.
Layla Stephen, PLANETs' Charity Team Fund Manager, said: “We were staggered with the amount that was raised. This has helped fund our latest big project, an Intra Operative Radio Therapy Machine, the first of its kind in the UK. It will enable us to give radiotherapy to patients in theatre immediately after removing their tumours to reduce the risk of them coming back. Partnership working at its very best!"
Simon Rowberry, Store Manager at Hedge End, said: "The work and dedication my colleagues put into raising money for PLANETs has been overwhelming. Our Local Charity of the Year this year is close to our hearts."
This year, customers voted for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Southampton Maternity hospital to be the Hedge End store’s Local Charity of the Year.
In 2014-2015, over 1,600 charities were shortlisted, and over 350,0oo Sainsbury's customers voted for their favourite local charities. This is a clear signal that our customers believe it's important for us to support local communities. Since our Local Charity of the Year scheme launched six years ago, we have raised over £9 million for local charities.