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New wheelchair for disabled children thanks to help from Huddersfield Sainsbury's

Fundraisers praise "brilliant" customers and staff at Sainsbury's

Staff of Sainsbury's Market Street store hand over a cheque to The Brain Children's Charity, front John Taylor - charity trustee receives the cheque from Mary Kitchen - Sainsbury's PR ambassador for the Market Street store.

A family-run charity from Huddersfield has praised supermarket giant Sainsbury’s for topping up a year-long fundraising drive with an unexpected bonus.

It means organisers with the Brain Damaged Children’s Charity have been able to give even more cash to worthy causes.

Margaret Dearnley, 68, and partner John Taylor, 78, were overwhelmed by the support of staff and customers at Sainsbury’s Market Street store in Huddersfield, which promoted their cause as ‘Charity of the Year’ for 12 months, ending in June. A variety of fundraising initiatives racked up an impressive £7,766.98.

The final figure has come in at £10,112.81 after Sainsbury’s donated a further £2,171.31 raised from sales of 5p carrier bags.

Margaret set up the charity in 2011 following the birth of her grandson Travis Goddard, who was starved of oxygen during birth.

“We were told to expect £1,000,” said a delighted John. “Then they gave us nearly three grand. We knew further money was coming but this is tremendous. Sainsbury’s have been brilliant.”

Several people and places have already benefitted. A wheelchair battery was bought for £745, Castle Hill School was given £1,000 towards specialist equipment for its sensory room, and Margaret and John made up the shortfall when private fundraisers didn’t quite meet their target of £4,000 for an electric wheelchair.

What’s more, John will once again play Santa at Castle Hill, which will receive £1,500 to buy Christmas presents that are relevant to the needs of its 103 pupils. He calls it “a big day that brings a tear to the eye”.

John has also paid tribute to the Huddersfield branch of TK Maxx, which has in the past donated tombola prizes. This year the store nominated the Brain Damaged Children’s Charity as its local charity and handed over an extra £1,500 to swell its coffers. A third will go to Castle Hill to pay for a ‘swing system’ that replicates the sensation of movement for wheelchair-bound children.

John described the relationship with Sainsbury’s as “a real partnership”, adding, “They really have been fantastic. Customers and staff have come together to raise that money for us. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity they have shown.”

Margaret and John have two new events in their diary. The first is a 24-hour pool marathon being held at the Foresters Hotel in Crosland Moor on October 7, and then a 100-prize tombola at Huddersfield Bus Station on October 20 from 9am to 3pm.

The charity can be reached via its Facebook page www.facebook.com/pg/TheBrainDamagedChildrensCharity/about/?ref=page_internal or on 01484 450364.

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