Indies help the cause

Retailers and new publisher step up with charity initiatives

 

“Every little helps” says the famous jingle and that’s just as true with charity fundraising where independent retailers and small publishers help out however they can.

At Presentation in Barrowford, owner Andrea Pinder is donating Mother’s Day cards to her local walk-in centre and charity Colne Open Door which helps families and homeless people by providing a safe haven, support and advice.

Above: Charity wins for Andrea Pinder (second left), pictured during the 2023 Cardgains Charity Challenge
Above: Charity wins for Andrea Pinder (second left), pictured during the 2023 Cardgains Charity Challenge

“Children eat free there every day,” Andrea said, “and food parcels are given out each week. At Christmas, with the help of Jackson’s Wholesale, I donated Christmas cards, wrap and accessories for all to use at Open Door and the charity provided the stamps.

“This was a huge success and, hopefully, with Mother’s Day approaching this will also make a difference to those that need to stay connected.”

The Christmas giftwrapping service at Macmillans of Penwortham proved so popular manager Emily Cooper and the team have been able to donate £623.16 to good causes.

Emily said: “We’d like to say the biggest thank you to all our wonderful customers who donated to our giftwrapping service over the Christmas period for our chosen charities Christian Aid, St Catherine’s, Crisis and Babybeat – we are so grateful.”

Above & top: The Macmillans team are so pleased with the total their giftwrapping service raised
Above & top: The Macmillans team are so pleased with the total their giftwrapping service raised

The Western Isles Cancer Care Initiative, which offers specific island support to patients, is Janet Ross-Jordan’s chosen charity as the Cards And Gift Wrap owner created special cards for it as well as giving a £400 donation from her Isle Of Lewis business.

“I designed some exclusive cards for WICCI where all the proceeds went to them and then 10% of all my other Christmas cards, including advent calendar cards, goes to them as well – so the £400 won’t include the additional proceeds from their exclusive cards.

“I’m hoping to design some more for next Christmas so and asking people for ideas of what they’d like to see on the cards. It gives me such a buzz to be able to make this donation.”

Above: Janet Ross-Jordan and author husband Gary have been helping WICCI
Above: Janet Ross-Jordan and author husband Gary have been helping WICCI

And still up in Scotland, although a little further south, new publisher Brilliantly Brave has used its launch party on Thursday, 22 February, to raise money for the Lossie Mental Health Peer Support Group.

“I was a bit nervous when we turned up in case no one else did,” laughed Stuart Cox, who runs the business with his partner Jean Pryde. “But as soon as we opened we got mobbed, and raised loads for the group which was the main reason for having the party.”

And the event in Forres saw the Lord Lieutenant of Moray Major General The Hon Seymour Monro cbe, ivo and his deputy Joan Cowe stay throughout along with local businesses, politicians, community members and mental health professionals supporting the publisher that’s giving all profits to support free-at-the-point-of-delivery mental wellbeing training, coaching, and peer-support – over 500 cards were sold on the night bringing in a good chunk of cash.

Stuart, who is also the founder of the I Like Birds brand, added: “There were plenty of walk-ins, people we didn’t know but just came along to find out more, buy a card and chat about mental health. Even though it was a fund-raiser and launch event we also had local retailers popping by expressing interest in stocking the cards.

“It was rammed, and I’ve genuinely never seen anything like it with greeting cards. I used to get a lot of love with I Like Birds, but this is on a totally different level.

“There’s something about it which gets people opening up and talking about mental health, whether it’s their own, friends, family or just the wider ‘we need to talk more’,” said Stuart.

Above: Brilliantly Brave’s launch party has raised a good sum for a mental health support group, pleasing co-founder Jean Pryde (in grey)
Above: Brilliantly Brave’s launch party has raised a good sum for a mental health support group, pleasing co-founder Jean Pryde (in grey)

He highlighted a “recurring theme” of “people saying they know exactly who they’re going to send a card to, and then speaking about the intended recipient, and the people who simply want to frame them as affirmations and reminders that You Are Awesome for themselves.

“My favourite comment was ‘what an amazing project – beautiful cards, lovely cause, they’re like a cuddle for the soul’,” Stuart added.

The positivity and laughter at the event also hit home: “When you get local politicians talking with mental health professionals and people with lived experience, in a lively, understanding and friendly way – and realise it was the cards what done it – you know it’s resonating and there’s something in this.”

Brilliantly Brave will be exhibiting at PG Live, which runs over 4-5 June at London’s Business Design Centre. To register to attend the show, click here.

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