Business leaders in Derby have joined forces to raise thousands of pounds for a city charity which helps underprivileged and vulnerable children and their families.
Members of the networking group Derby’s Finest held a virtual bingo night for Revive; a Derwent-based charity which will use the money raised to take families on a much-needed holiday to popular seaside resort, Butlins, later this year.
Prizes for the bingo night, which was organised by Claire Twells, of Smith Partnership, Sarah Loates, of Loates HR, and Mercia Image Print’s Amanda Strong, included hospitality tickets to watch Derby County, an iPad and an overnight stay at the four-star Egbaston Park Hotel.
Members raised £1,500 on the night – which was match-funded by Cosy Direct; the Tutbury-based business which sells ethical educational supplies to primary schools and nurseries around the world.
Amanda Ellse, who set up Cosy Direct with her husband, Peter, 10 years ago, heads up the charitable foundation of the business, Cosy Foundation. She said: “The Cosy Foundation supports charities and good causes both at UK grassroots and abroad; we have helped to build classrooms in Africa and, more recently, funded the installation of running water which will supply 500 people out there.
“Revive is a very worthwhile charity which has done incredible work for families in Derby during a difficult time. Holidays are something which most of us take for granted – although the chance to get away has been limited over the past year – but many children who are supported by Revive won’t have left Derby.
“We’re delighted to be supporting them and would also like to congratulate the members of Derby’s Finest for hosting a hugely successful event.”
Revive will use the £3,000 to take more than 40 children between the ages of three and 14 – and their parents/carers – to Butlins in August. As well as paying for accommodation, the money raised will be spent on treats for these youngsters, such as buckets and spades and fish and chips by the seaside.
Jo Andrew, manager at Revive Healthy Living Centre, said: “The past 12 months has been extremely difficult and we have had to raise £180,000 just to keep our heads above water.
“We’ve remained open throughout the various lockdowns, ensuring our families have access to IT equipment, if needed, applying for grants for things like gas and electricity and supplying local food banks.
“This generous donation is greatly appreciated. We’re a small charity – a small fish in a big pond – and this £3,000 will go a long way. Some of these families have never left Derby and it will be a much-needed break for them.”
As well as the cash donation, Revive have also received £1,000 in vouchers from the Central Midlands Co-op Northern Membership Community Council, presented to them by councillor Joanna West.
The vouchers will be used to purchase food for Revive ‘Birthday Boxes’ – the brainchild of Claire Twells, who is a long-time supporter of the charity.
Claire said: “There are children in our city who are living really tough, often violent lives and often miss out on birthday celebrations. I thought it would be a good idea to try to get a box of small gifts to a boy or girl from needy families every month.
“Revive already have a lengthy list of children who would appreciate a birthday box and, the sad fact is, that this list is getting longer.”
As well as supporting children, Revive – which is based in Roe Farm Lane – also provides a job club five days a week and recycles new, branded household goods – such as detergents, cleaning products and nursery equipment – that would otherwise go to landfill sites by offering them to local homes instead, enabling household budgets to go further.
And, every year, the run a Secret Santa Appeal for which they’re already taking donations.
Jo added: “Our packages are support for those who need it most. They’re not a sticking plaster; the past 12 months has seen an increase in people needing Universal Credit and redundancy due to coronavirus and we are trying to help as many people in the Derwent and Chaddesden area who are experiencing financial hardship.
“Our Secret Santa appeal, which has been running since 2012 supports many families during the festive season and is a way of bringing a little joy to those who are facing challenging circumstances at what can be a difficult time of year.
“I’m always heartened as to how many people get involved in the Secret Santa appeal. It literally saves Christmas for so many families in our city.”