Birchover announce major new partnership with me&dee charity

Carl Bridge

Birchover Sales and Lettings have announced a major new partnership with local charity me&dee.

From 1st March 2018, Birchover will donate £100 to me&dee every time they sell a home in the DE or NG postcode area. Birchover have also become a Platinum Member of me&dee, donating £100 per month to the charity.

Me&dee provide holidays to Mablethorpe, where the charity have a caravan and a beach hut on a Haven holiday site. Me&dee also have a beach chalet on a chalet park in Mablethorpe. Over the past twelve years, holidays have been provided to 2,000 families who have a parent or child with life-shortening or life-limiting illnesses. They now also offer holidays to physically and emotionally injured service men and women. The family breaks provide an opportunity to create precious memories at such a vital time and include a stay in the accommodation, a Haven family holiday pass to use all the facilities plus extras such as a memory box, use of the beach hut on the sea front and hand-made Dumpling Dollies or Memory Elephant soft toys. Sometimes, the charity is able to add personalised extras such as tickets to the nearby seal sanctuary.

Birchover is owned by husband and wife team Carl and Lisa Bridge. The partnership was agreed following a meeting with Maria Hanson MBE and her partner Mark. Lisa Bridge explains why Birchover wanted to support me&dee. “We have known Maria for several years and have always been in awe of the energy, passion and hard work she puts into me&dee. The work that they do is incredibly impactful, creating the opportunity for vital family time together at such an emotionally-tough time. It is such an amazing, kind charity and Maria has worked so hard over such a long period of time. We spent a couple of hours discussing all the great work that they do – possibly the most heartbreaking thing to discover is that they try to prioritise the holidays based on which child has the shortest time to live. That really brought home to us the value of the work they do for the families involved”.

A quick glance through the testimonials on their website, meanddee.co.uk, demonstrates the wonderful positive memories that the charity creates. The Guilders family have a 12 year old daughter, Poppy, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour as a baby. They stated that “We had so much fun and created so many happy memories, we simply cannot put into words how very grateful we are”. There are many similar examples of how me&dee have touched the hearts of families at such an important time.

Often, Maria says, the beneficiaries are the siblings, who have spent years quietly supporting their brother or sister. The holidays in Mablethorpe are perfect for families to relax, recharge and spend time together as a family unit.

The charity cost £70,000 to run in 2017 and the main reason that it can offer holidays to so many families is because Maria has never taken a salary. In recent weeks, Maria’s partner Mark has also left the corporate world to join the business, with a key part of his remit to source additional funding and develop partnerships with businesses.

Mark explains why he has joined me&dee full-time: “After meeting Maria nearly 4 years ago my whole outlook on life changed, we all need money to survive in life but sometimes life changing events happen to people that brings normal everyday living to a sudden stop”. Mark continues “Over these 4 years and with both of us working late at night and weekends to deliver these much-needed holidays it became obvious to us that things needed to change. After many conversations with various people including the charity trustees it was decided that I should join me&dee on a full time basis”.

Birchover join a host of existing corporate partners who support the charity. The other Platinum Partners, who also contribute £100 per month, are MGladwin Electrical, Class A Alarms, Michele Walsh and Essential Print Services. Franklands Insurance Brokers have just announced that me&dee will be their annual charity for the second consecutive year, whilst Riviera Travel donate 10% of the value of all holidays they sell to me&dee.

Carl Bridge explains: “Before we met, I knew that me&dee support families in Derbyshire but hadn’t realized the amount of work they do in Nottingham too. We have bases in Derby and West Bridgford and so it makes perfect sense to support the charity across both counties. Therefore, we are extremely proud to announce that we will donate £100 for every home that we sell with a DE or NG postcode prefix. We are growing rapidly in both areas and so we’re hopeful that we will be able to donate ever-increasing amounts of money each month. Even if just one person reading this places their home for sale with Birchover, then that raises £100 for the charity. Having spoken with Maria and Mark, we hope that our donations will support the work that Mark does in attracting more corporate partners to donate to this incredible charity”.

Businesses can support me&dee for as little as £20 per month. They offer Silver Packages for £20 per month, Gold Packages for £50 per month and the Platinum Package does include two free tickets to the annual me&dee ball.

Maria Hanson MBE commented: “I am overwhelmed with this incredible offer of support. Lisa has been a shoulder on many occasions for me, understanding as some others can’t, the work that me&dee does through her personal experience, supporting Maria emotionally and with thoughts and ideas. To move into this level of both emotional and financial support adds great value to the worth of the work that me&dee does – belief in what we do is extremely important. Me&dee is deeply appreciative for the extra families and the support that we can give them through the generosity of Carl and Lisa Bridge”.