Centre 81 in Yarmouth gets a welcome boost from supermarket

Centre 81 members including Darren Hoare and Kathryn Hanton in the foreground receive the 4,000 wort

Centre 81 members including Darren Hoare and Kathryn Hanton in the foreground receive the 4,000 worth of fundraising from the Great Yarmouth Sainsburys store, whose PR ambassador Sarah Rees (kneeling right in purple shirt) is seen handing the cheque to Linda Pyke. - Credit: Supplied

A supermarket has checked out a trolley load of cash to help a Great Yarmouth charity's £5m rebuild appeal.

Centre 81 was the chosen charity of the town's Sainsbury's store for the past year.

And the St Nicholas Road shop generated £4,000.88 for the centre, to help with its major appeal towards a major rebuild of its Tar Works Road site.

The cash was raised through a slice of the store's 5p carrier bag levy, along with collection boxes, donations and a series of fund-raising events.

Events included cake sales in the staff canteen, book sales and raffles among colleagues, a Christmas memory tree where customers made donations after leaving a message to a lost loved on the branches, and 10pc of a bingo lotto with staff paying £1 a week to play bingo with the lotto numbers that are drawn.

Centre 81 members also held two sing-a-long sessions in the store foyer, with customers joining in, which raised a total of nearly £800.

Store deputy manager David Simmonds said the annual charity was chosen though asking local causes to apply. The staff council then picked the top three, who were invited to 'pitch' before the winners were chosen.

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He added: 'Centre 81 does fantastic work in the community and staff like supporting charities that do help people close to where we are.'

During the coming year the store is helping Hearing Dogs for the Deaf.

Centre 81 recently launched a £5m appeal to rebuild its Tar Works Road complex – replacing ageing second hand buildings with a modern purpose-built facility.

It runs a skills and activities centre for 70 members with physical and other disabilities and community transport scheme used by 700 people – but has ambitions to expand its work and widen community links through a riverside café with waterway views.

Centre chief executive Diana Staines said: 'We are grateful for support from the community to fund our much-needed services – and to help our new appeal. This contribution from Sainsbury's and its customers has been marvellous and we thank them very much.

'We are also throwing out the challenge to other businesses, groups and individuals to organise events or make donations to help Centre 81 in its goal to improve the lives of local people.'

For more information call 01493 852573, email appeal@centre81.co.uk or visit www.centre81.co.uk for updates on the appeal and project progress.

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