Retailers are an integral part of the communities they serve and play a significant role in supporting local networks. They are often the first port of call for community groups and charities when looking for support. Countless local sports clubs and community groups across the country benefit from their ongoing sponsorships and backing, together with active involvement in promoting their services instore or at work across the country. 

In 2020, Penneys stores nationwide raised €170,000 for their charity partners through their local charity initiative, Step Up, despite the major disruption of Covid restrictions. The
initiative allows employees to select a local charity, they would like to support. For example, in February 2021, Penneys in Letterkenny took part in ‘Primark’s 5K Your Way Challenge’ to raise money for their partner Foyle Search and Rescue in memory of their much-missed  colleague Mark Cullen.

Maxol has been the proud sponsor of Ulster Mini Rugby Festivals from 2014, where both girls and boys aged 6-12 gain their first taste of the sport and begin to learn the basic skills. Each year, approximately 1,500-2,000 children attend the festivals, held at various rugby clubs throughout the Province, before participating in a four-day Finals Festival at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast, the home of Ulster Rugby. 

Supervalu is a long-standing supporter and sponsor of the national TidyTowns initiative which is one of the most successful local schemes in ensuring that our towns and villages are clean, liveable, and where the local community is actively engaged in the wellbeing of their communities. The SuperValu TidyTowns competition is thriving with committee entries exceeding over 800 for the last three years. 

Every year Woodies support a range of children’s charities with their Heroes campaign. The fundraising drive at checkouts lasts for four weeks and is run by the colleagues. Prior to Covid, there were additional activities in stores, such as book stalls. In 2020, the in-store campaign raised nearly €300,000. At the close of the four weeks the company runs a charity cycle to “collect” the money raised, this is supported by suppliers and raised an additional €150,000. 

Aramark and Avoca
Aramark and Avoca support the charity ‘Good Grub’, an initiative that delivers over 75,000 nutritious fruit and vegetable parcels directly to the families of DEIS school children
around Ireland. DEIS is a national programme that addresses the needs of children and young adults in disadvantaged communities. In 2020 Avoca also raised over €32,000 for
St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services through a Christmas Charity candle campaign. 

Aldi’s Community Grants programme helps fund charities and organisations that contribute vital work and services in their local communities. Each local charity is chosen by Aldi employees. A series of €500 grants, amounting to over €77,500 in total, was presented to charities across the country in 2020. The programme has contributed to 750 local organisations to date, donating over €375,000 since it began. 

Eason are committed to improving literacy and fostering a love of reading among children in Ireland. Their literacy programme started in 2010 with the launch of Ireland’s first national Spelling Bee competition which has become an annual fixture in the calendar of over 1000 primary schools nationwide. Eason have also donated thousands of books to children through their partnerships with Suas, who run one-to-one literacy mentoring programmes in disadvantaged schools, and iScoil who provide an online learning service that offers young people a pathway to learning.

Boots has been a proud partner of the Irish Cancer Society since 2012. Through the partnership, Boots is committed to increasing awareness, supporting people affected by cancer and promoting cancer prevention in Ireland. All funds raised by Boots go towards the Night Nursing service and to date, Boots has raised over €2 million enabling more than 6,300 nights of end-of-life nursing care for people living with cancer. In addition to their skillset, Boots Pharmacists and Beauty Advisors have undergone training designed in conjunction with Irish Cancer Society to help support and advise people living with cancer and their friends and families. 

Tesco and FoodCloud launched a ground-breaking partnership that sees all surplus food from Tesco’s 151 stores redistributed to charities and community groups. This initiative supports individuals within the community, including children and youth at risk of food poverty, single parents, the elderly, those who are homeless, those who are going through drug and alcohol rehabilitation, those who are unemployed, women who are escaping domestic violence; and families with low incomes who need help to get by.