A WEARSIDE firm is helping Christmas come early for community groups – while raising cash for charity.
The Sponsorship Fund run by Castletown-based Grundfos is open for all employees to apply to and is always oversubscribed.
Any group can benefit but they must pledge to raise money for the firm’s chosen charities in return – Cancer Research and the Alzheimer’s Society
Grundfos health and safety manager Janette Ede, who runs the fund, said: “It’s easy to apply and many employees do.
“They just tell us what they want to do, show us the costings then we look through and make a decision. We can help any sort of community group, but they must, in return, raise money for our chosen charities.
“Half of the money raised goes to those charities and the other is given back to the community group, so they win again. We don’t specify how much money they have to raise.”
Groups successfully applying to the scheme include football teams and karate clubs.
Grundfos engineer Darren Wann has received grants from the fund for the past two years and, in return, has raised almost £700 for charity.
The 26-year-old, who skippers his team, said: “It’s a great scheme that has really helped the team I play for in South Shields, Vigilant FC. The first grant was for £650 and we used it to buy new strips, which have the Grundfos logo on.
“The money we received in the second year, about £1,000, has been spent on jackets, footballs, goals, nets and corner flags.
“The team has really, really appreciated the help.”
Janette added: “Darren is a perfect example of how well the scheme can work.
“He does loads of charity work to raise funds for the charities, and over the two years has actually given more to the charities than we donated to him in the first place.
“We gave him £649 for football shirts and the money he gave back was £659.70.
“He’s gone above and beyond what we’d usually expect.”
Grundfos general manager Lee Carling is pleased the fund is having an impact on communities.
He said: “Helping our local communities and providing opportunities for the disadvantaged are an integral part of our core values and a real focus of the business.”