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Raising funds for Marie Curie is a piece of cake at SPAR NI

Michael McCosh of SPAR Kells in Ballymena is pictured with Anne Hannan (left), partnership manager at Marie Curie NI and Stephanie Tares, assistant brand manager at Henderson Group.

Almost 230 SPAR stores across Northern Ireland have signed up to host a Blooming Great Tea Party for Marie-Curie on Saturday, June 15.

Taking place from 10am-2pm, customers are encouraged to come along and help raise much-needed funds for the palliative care providers.

In 2018, Blooming Great Tea Parties supported by SPAR retailers and customers raised more than £70,000 with every penny of this staggering total going back into the local community here in Northern Ireland; providing vital services like overnight nursing care and essential equipment used by Marie-Curie when caring for cancer patients.

Since the partnership between SPAR and Marie Curie began in Northern Ireland in 2017, shoppers and staff have raised £210,000 through initiatives such as the Blooming Great Tea Parties, which SPAR has hosted every year since the partnership began.

One retailer who has been dedicated to the fundraising is Michael McCosh, owner of SPAR Kells in Ballymena whose team have been passionate about gaining support for the charity.

“Since we began supporting Marie Curie Northern Ireland, our whole team has been dedicated to pushing that total up, year on year,” he said. “We’re part of the local community here, and we all know families who have been touched by terminal illness, and the services and care that Marie Curie provides locally is second to none.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming our local community for tea, coffee, buns and cakes – and to raise even more funds for Marie Curie – this Saturday.”

One of SPAR’s fresh fruit suppliers, Keelings, has already donated a whopping £5,000 towards the Blooming Great Tea Party campaign.

Stephanie Tares, assistant brand manager, with SPAR NI is hopeful that customers across Northern Ireland will come out and support the events.

“Our retailers are looking forward to hosting Blooming Great Tea Parties for the third year running,” said Tares. “At SPAR we pride ourselves on supporting the communities we serve, so it’s great to be able to support such a worthy charity to provide invaluable care in every community across Northern Ireland.

“Retailers are busy preparing lots of activity in their stores on the day, so we hope our customers will use the opportunity to catch up with their friends and neighbours while supporting a worthy cause at the same time. We look forward to welcoming as many people as possible through our doors on June 15 and are confident we can build on last year’s fundraising total.”

Anne Hannan, Marie Curie partnerships manager, said: “I hope everyone supports their local SPAR on Saturday 15th June with their Blooming Great Tea Parties. After all, who needs an excuse to eat cake?

“Every penny raised enables us to provide care and support for around 4,000 people living with terminal illness in Northern Ireland each year, whether its terminal cancer, MND, heart failure or lung conditions. We have 190 Marie Curie Nurses caring for terminally ill people and their families in their homes, at a time when its most needed. Help us continue to provide this vital care and support your local SPAR this June.”

The 2019 SPAR NI Blooming Great Tea Parties take place on Saturday, June 15 from 10am–2pm in over 200 SPAR stores across Northern Ireland.

Shoppers across the country can pop in to their local store and donate some change in exchange for a cup of tea or coffee from Barista Bar, as well as an enjoy local traybake or homemade bake from staff in store.

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