Dorset schoolchildren are set to benefit after independent supermarket Dike & Son of Stalbridge announced this week that it would be supporting a farm-based learning project near Sherborne.
The store recently received an accolade from the independent buying group Nisa-Today's in recognition of all the good work the store does for its local community.
At a national awards ceremony in Stoneleigh the store won the Nisa 2011 Awards for Excellence – Making a Difference Locally in recognition of its vigorous fund-raising efforts for Dorset children’s hospice Julia’s House and the local branches of the Riding for the Disabled Association in Milton Abbas and Henstridge.
A total of £4,500 was raised by Dike’s Superstore for these charities in the first two years of running the Making a Difference Locally (MADL) initiative, in which customers choose specially marked products in-store to donate varying amounts to the fund.
Director Andy Dike said: “The award reflects our commitment to helping a broad sector of our community through fund-raising in-store, hosting community events such as the Shaping Stalbridge day and supporting local producers and suppliers – which boosts the local economy and benefits the local environment through lower food miles.
“We are particularly grateful to all our customers for helping us to build up such a large pot of funds to distribute within the community, and I am very pleased to announce that the next good cause we will be supporting is Future Roots, a local organisation that helps connect people with farming and the countryside.”
Future Roots is based at Rylands Care Farm near Sherborne. It works with youth groups, schools, and support services in Dorset who want to bring children and families to a rural, agricultural setting to facilitate learning and personal development.
The money raised in-store at Dike’s will go towards paying for local primary schools to bring a whole class to the farm for a day, teaching children all about rural skills, the environment and farming. It will also buy an incubator which schools will be able to borrow to hatch out chicks in the classroom as part of a learning programme.
Future Roots director Julie Plumley said: “I am really grateful for the financial support to help us to demonstrate how farming can be a fantastic learning resource, enhancing knowledge skills and personal qualities for all ages and abilities. This offer means even more to us because we feel that through a local business such as Dike’s being involved we will increase valuable community support for our project.”
Contact Adam Vincent, Dike & Son Store Manager on 01963 362204 for more information or visit www.dikes-direct.co.uk
For information on MADL visit www.makingadifferencelocally.com
For information on the new charity visit www.futureroots.net
The MADL charity was formed in May 2008 by Nisa-Today’s, with the intention of assisting more than 2,000 independent retailers throughout the UK with raising money for their local communities. The charity works by allocating a specified amount of the cost of certain products promoted in-store to the retailer’s MADL charity fund.
Nisa-Today’s is the UK's leading member-owned organisation, providing benefits to independent retailers and wholesalers in food and drink markets.