ONE of the city’s oldest charities has been given a welcome cash boost.
Sunderland Counselling Services has received almost £3,500 from Sainsbury’s, in Silksworth.
The organisation, which provides free one-to-one counselling, such as to the bereaved or women who have suffered abuse, will use the money to create two rooms to meet the high demand for its services.
Angela Dinsdale, business development manager at the Sunniside-based charity, said it was a surprise to be selected as Sainsbury’s nominated charity.
“It’s quite an unusual choice by the staff,” she said. “They usually go for something a bit more well-known.
“It’s great that they decided to have us, and it meant that apart from the money we have received, we have increased knowledge of the charity, because they put leaflet dispensers in the store and promoted us.
“The extra awareness of our services is important to us.
“Anyone who felt they needed counselling could pick up a leaflet without it being obvious and feeling they were being noticed.”
The money was raised between the supermarket and the city council, and Angela said the charity was involved in the collections.
“We did a bag pack at Christmas,” she said. “People were so generous giving us £2 and £3 each. We also did a jam jar collection where the store gave us jars of jam, which we ate, then filled with change.
“The money came in small amounts, so I didn’t have any idea how much had been raised. It was a real surprise.
Sainsbury’s store manager Gary Pearson said: “When our customers helped us to select Sunderland Counselling Services as our new local charity partner, we knew this was a charity that would really capture the hearts and minds of our colleagues.”
The total amount handed over was £3,457.47.
“The last 12 months has made such a difference to our cause,” said Angela.
“We’ve raised a fantastic amount and would like to thank both Sainsbury’s customers and colleagues for their support.”