The importance of giving back to the community

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Community RE Lifestyle Express
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Bay Bashir, talks about how he rallied the community to help a crucial customer in their hour of need.

Three weeks ago one of our customers was involved in a house fire. She has four young children and the fire meant they lost everything and they have had to be rehoused.

As a community we got together, created a Facebook page and asked for donations that could be dropped off at the shop. We put some leaflets out for it, but we had to do it quickly so we could help the family as speedily as possible.

I got some prizes together myself, including a Kindle, some lager, wine and chocolates, and also got Blakemore, our cash & carry, to provide some Easter eggs for an in-store Easter raffle. We raised £368 and I matched it so we made £736 in total. I said I’d use the money to buy things for the house to make sure it was used in the right way, so we’re buying some carpet for the house and a washing machine.

The response from the community was unbelievable – they donated Playstations, Xbox’s, clothes. The response was so great we had to move everything from the shop to the local community centre. It really brought the whole community together. The lady was overwhelmed with the support she’s received, not just from us but from the whole community.

There’s been a great atmosphere. It’s not a wealthy area, it’s a council estate area, but everyone came together and brought an array of things in. You could’ve filled four houses with the amount of stuff we got in.  Everything that the family didn’t need we donated
to charity.

We do a lot of raising money for charity – that’s what I’m all about. I try to do as much as I can for the community because it’s important to give things back. And you get that loyalty back from people when they see what you’re doing for them. Doing things for the community is an important part of retailing.

Nothing like this has happened before, but it just goes to show that when you do ask for support from the community, the generosity is unbelievable.

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By Bay Bashir 26 Apr, 2015

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