MERKUR make 44 charity awards in opening year

MERKUR Initiative, has succeeded in making a total of 44 awards to good causes and smaller charities that often fail to get the recognition that they deserve despite being responsible for quite outstanding work in the community.

A wide range of organisations have benefited including hospices based in Milton Keynes, Preston and Birmingham, a domestic abuse charity, an organisation that provides Christmas hampers for families in need, bereavement counselling for mothers, a foodbank, a homelessness charity and CRY – a charity which provides heart screening in order to prevent sudden cardiac deaths in young people

It has also provided sponsorship for team members undertaking their own private fund-raising including a successful ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro and the Macmillan Mighty Hike Challenge.

Local branches of Help for Heroes, the RNLI and the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals have also benefited from a MERKUR Initiative award following their nomination by team members.

Tony Boulton, Director of Public and Political Relations believes MERKUR Initiative is a great example of how a business can partner with its team and improve the lives of others. He explained: “We ask our team members to nominate a good cause which may be one that’s important to them or a suggestion that’s come from one of their customers. We then reach out to the nominated organisation, undertake some due diligence and if everything is in order, we make the award.

 “The objective is to support those charities, good causes and community events that mean something to our staff, our venues and our customers.

“Our venues, whether they are gaming centres on the high street or bingo clubs, fulfil an important community role. They are the places where people meet with their friends, where the staff know them by their first name, where they feel comfortable and where they can enjoy safe and responsible gambling entertainment.

 “We look forward to continuing to support the fantastic work that’s being undertaken by largely unsung charities and good causes in communities the length and breadth of the country.”

Four of the 44 charities 

Organisations that have benefited from a MERKUR Initiative award include: Cardiac Risk in the Young which aims to prevent young sudden cardiac deaths by providing subsidised screening to all young people between the ages of 14 and 35- years as well as emotional and clinical support following a young sudden cardiac death. MERKUR’s UK Expansion Manager, Chris Green, who nominated CRY for a MERKUR Initiative Award explained: “My wife sadly lost her eldest daughter in 2014 from a sudden cardiac arrest aged just 17. Since then, we have raised many thousands of pounds and installed around 20 defibrillators in schools and sports clubs in the midlands in her memory. I’m delighted to confirm that last weekend we succeeded in meeting our target of £17,000 which will allow us to provide two heart screening days for 200 young adults aged between 14 and 35 in the Midlands local area.”

Patients, visiting families and the nursing team at Willen Hospice in Milton Keynes enjoyed their Christmas Dinner courtesy of a festive donation from the MERKUR Initiative fund. As well as paying for the festive feasts on both Christmas Day and Boxing Day, MERKUR also said a big thank-you to the 64 working staff members by covering the cost of their Christmas Lunches. Similar festive initiatives were funded at the Beaumont House Hospice in Newark and St Catherine’s Hospice in Preston – the home towns of Blueprint Operations and Regal Gaming Technology respectively.

The Gurkha Welfare Trust provides medical and financial aid to Gurkha veterans, their families and communities in Nepal. On receiving the MERKUR Initiative support Corporate Partnerships Officer David Watson said: “This could pay the Welfare Pension for a Gurkha veteran or their widow for almost six months. We are extremely grateful to all of the team at MERKUR Group UK for their support which helps us in our mission to repay the debt of honour we all owe to brave and loyal Gurkhas.”

The Lighthouse Project is a Greater Manchester-based food club which was established to help local families and individuals reduce their food bills. The weekly costs are just £3.50 for ten items plus four free items of fruit or veg and the average retail value of a weekly visit is over £25. The food primarily comes from supermarket surplus. Andrew Bell, Managing Director Finance and Commercial at Regal Gaming Technology who nominated the Lighthouse Project said: “MERKUR UK has shown that it is possible to achieve commercial objectives at the same time as reaching out to the community and making a difference. It’s about being a good corporate citizen and helping those in society who are facing hardship.”