York friends group raise £31,000

02 June 2017
Spending a penny in a York department store has helped raise more than £31,000 for Martin House Hospice Care for Children and Young People.

Gillygate Friends’ Group were given a collection pitch outside the toilets in Marks & Spencer on Parliament Street as part of its ‘Spend a Penny, Donate a Penny’ appeal.

Between April 2016 and March 2017, the group has collected £28,985 from shoppers and visitors to the city, and with a further £2,464 raised by colleagues at M&S York through bake sales and other fundraising activities, a grand total of £31,449 has been handed over to Martin House.

Alison Wragg, Community Fundraiser at Martin House, said: “It’s a remarkable amount of money to raise and has taken a real commitment from Gillygate Friends, who have been in store with their collecting tins four days a week, every week, for a year.

“The support of groups like Gillygate Friends is invaluable to us and we want to thank them all for their dedication and hard work. It costs more than £6 million to run Martin House every year, and the majority of that is through voluntary fundraising.”

It is the second year the Gillygate Friends’ have collected in Marks & Spencer’s ‘Spend a Penny, Donate a Penny’ appeal, and across the two years they have raised around £50,000. The group has been supporting Martin House since it formed in 2002, with events including a fundraising day at St Crux and an annual coffee morning at Haxby Methodist Hall.

Shelley King, M&S York Charity Champion, said: “We are delighted to be able to support Martin House Hospice Care for Children and Young People as it provides an invaluable service for the local community.

"The ‘Spend a Penny, Donate a Penny’ appeal has been really popular with our customers and we are thrilled that we have been able to work in partnership with the charity and raise a significant amount. The fundraising has allowed us to work with the community to make a difference and we hope our customers continue to ‘spend a penny’ and continue to support them in the future.”

Pictured: Gillygate Friends (standing, from left) Denise Hall, Diane Earp, Sandra Mason and Judith Powell with Kirstie Walsh, commercial operations manager at M&S York, with (seated, from left) Eunice Cooper, Martin House community fundraiser Alison Wragg and Shelley King, M&S York community champion.