Staff, customers and members at Scotmid Co-operative have raised £370,000 for Anthony Nolan, the blood cancer charity, which runs the UK bone marrow register and carries out pioneering research.
The year-long partnership ran from September 2014 until August, and to represent the “heroic” nature of the partnership, a superheroes theme was chosen. Nearly 5,000 staff members from over 350 stores turned into Scotmid Lifesavers for the year, teaming up with their communities to organise activities such as sponsored head shaves and bungee jumps.
Members, customers and Scotmid staff also took part in ice bucket challenges, while others designed and sold their own cook book and took part in food tastings.
The amount raised was highest total the organisation has achieved during a charity partnership, nearly doubling its initial £200,000 target.
Henny Braund, Anthony Nolan’s chief executive, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to Scotmid and their members and customers for raising such an incredible amount of money for Anthony Nolan. We are extremely grateful for their efforts and have very much enjoyed working with their passionate and caring team, from head office to the local stores.
“These local heroes could be the only lifesaving match for someone with blood cancer – someone who would otherwise have no other chance to live. This partnership has given people hope for the future by providing many more chances of finding a cure.”
Two thirds of patients will not find a matching donor from within their families; instead they turn to Anthony Nolan to match them with an unrelated donor. It costs the charity £100 to recruit, test and look after each donor; the money Scotmid raised will be used to add thousands more potential donors to the bone marrow register from the society’s retail areas – Scotland, North of England and Northern Ireland.
“I am immensely proud of the hard work, determination and commitment of our staff, customers and members in raising this record breaking amount on behalf of Anthony Nolan,” said John Brodie, chief executive of Scotmid.
“It’s clear that Anthony Nolan’s vital work to find matching donors for people with blood cancer resonated with our staff and customers and inspired them to go above and beyond this year. As Anthony Nolan celebrates four decades of saving lives, we hope we have contributed somewhat to helping this amazing charity continue its world-class research into blood cancer.”
Scotmid has previously run charity partnerships with Prostate Cancer UK and Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres. Its new charity partner is Alzheimer Scotland and the Alzheimer’s Society, and they aim to raise £250,000 by August 2016.
• For more information visit www.anthonynolan.org/scotmid.