The Heart of England Co-operative will help Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice raise money to cover a recent £80,000 shortfall, after choosing it as its corporate partner of the year.
Over the coming year staff across the society’s network of 32 food stores and 13 funeral homes will host a series of fundraising events, encouraging colleagues and members to contribute to the cause.
Since opening six years ago, Zoë’s Place has provided palliative, respite and end-of-life care to babies and infants, from birth to five years old, with life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses. The hospice costs £1.4m a year to run, with care offered free of charge to the children and their families. Its income is generated entirely through donations and fundraising events.
Ali Kurji, chief executive of Heart of England, said: “When we saw the plight of Zoë’s Place before Christmas – that it would have to close beds and add poorly children and their families to a waiting list due to a lack of funding – we knew that as a society we needed to help keep as many beds open for as long as possible.
“We are delighted to support the hospice over the coming year. We have long held an association with the charity since before it first opened its doors in 2011 when we handed £1,000 to the building of the hospice and a further £2,000 towards the parents’ Starlight Room bereavement suite. There have been other donations since.”
Mr Kurji praised the hospice for the support it offered to families across Coventry and Warwickshire.
“We are delighted to support the hospice over the coming year and know that all of our staff will do their very best to help raise the funds needed to give these children the first class care that they deserve.”
Heart of England first launched its corporate charity scheme in 2012. Since then the society has helped raise £46,000 for Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance, with similar amounts going to the Myton Hospices and Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Muna Chauhan, corporate manager of Zoë’s Place, said: “It is fantastic news that Heart of England is partnering with us in 2018. The amount of awareness it will generate in all the Food stores is fantastic and the partnership with the Funerals Division is so important as we are providing end-of-life care for more and more of our families.
“The partnership with the society as a whole is tremendous for Zoë’s Place – it will help us get our name out there, enable us to reach out to more people and to spread the word about the work of Zoë’s Place and the services we offer.”