One local charity’s Christmas wish has come early thanks to a surprise donation of £40,000 from Primula Cheese. The donation will enable the South Shields based charity to open its first shop selling donated goods to raise further funds for the organisation.
The Charlie Cookson Foundation provides financial support to parents of seriously ill children who have life limiting conditions and require 24 hour nursing care or specialist nursing facilities. The charity was set up by Chris and Sarah Cookson and named after their son Charlie who sadly passed away in October 2013, aged just 30 months, after fighting an undiagnosed condition almost all of his life.
Chris and Sarah were invited to Primula’s factory in Gateshead for a meeting without knowing they would be presented with a cheque for £40,000, which will cover the first three years lease on a shop in South Shields. Sarah Cookson said: “Having to say no to families at Christmas was one of the hardest things but now we’ve received this generous donation from Primula we can open our shop which will generate money so we can say yes to more families in the future.
“We would like to thank the Primula team for their generosity which will reach many families. We’re the only charity that supports parents who have children with life limiting conditions and need 24 hour care. We know from personal experience that these families face financial challenges many are unaware of.”
Earlier this year, Primula, which is part of Kavli UK Ltd, also raised £50,000 for the Make a Wish Foundation through sales of limited edition Spread a Smile tubes.
Paul Lewney, managing director of Kavli UK, the company behind Primula Cheese, said: “We’re delighted to be giving this extremely valuable and unique charity the chance to grow, and we hope this early Christmas gift will keep giving to the families who need it most. Newcastle has been Primula’s home since 1936 and we’re proud to be in a position to help such a worthy cause in the region.
“Kavli UK is wholly owned by the Kavli Foundation, a charitable trust committed to supporting good causes. Annually it donates profits to charitable causes, supporting research, humanitarian and cultural projects within the UK and worldwide. This means profits from the sale of Primula Cheese are donated to support good causes, so every time you buy Primula you can feel good knowing you’re supporting good causes like this.”
The Kavli Trust owns two further companies in the UK, Castle MacLellan Pates in Kirkcudbright and St Helen’s Farm goat’s milk products near York, which have also selected local charities to support. In total, Kavli UK has donated £168,147 of profits to UK charities in 2015 alone as part of its ongoing commitment to supporting good causes in the UK and abroad. But the philanthropy doesn’t stop at board level as staff throughout the three companies regularly take part in fundraising activities throughout the year.
Primula alone has raised £4,500 for charities such as the Alzheimer’s Society, St Oswald’s Hospice, Smile for Life and Silver Line through holding events such as a swimathon, raffles, the Great North Run and even a sponsored leg wax.
Paul continued: “The spirit of doing good for others runs throughout Kavli and we actively encourage our colleagues to take part in fundraising activity. To raise £4,500 in one year alone is a phenomenal success and enables us to support a wide reach of charities. I’d like to take this opportunity to thanks each of our colleagues and look forward to raising even more funding for them into 2016 and beyond.”
Charlie Cookson was nominated for Primula’s donation by staff members at Primula’s Team Valley headquarters who’s charity committee, Kavli in the Community (KitC), consists of eight staff volunteers. KitC supported Charlie Cookson’s proposal to provide funds for the project as it is a local charity that offers great support and advice to the company’s local community.
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