Dike's charity fund channels more than £10,000 into local good causes

TWO Blackmore Vale community organisations are the latest to benefit from a huge pot of money raised by the customers of north Dorset independent superstore and deli Dike & Son.
Blandford and Sturminster Newton Cats Protection and St Nicholas Dance Club in Child Okeford won the last two rounds of an online vote for local good causes on the family-run stores website, www.welovedorsetfood.co.uk
The online poll has been running for a year now, with thousands of votes cast and four local initiatives benefiting so far. Every three months three new contenders are chosen and votes are cast online. The winner picks up a cheque for £500 towards their project.
The money is raised through Dike & Sons participation in the Nisa Making a Difference Locally (MADL) campaign. When customers buy specially-marked products in-store, the manufacturer donates a small sum to the funding pot.
It may only be pennies, but it soon adds up. Since the MADL scheme began four years ago, the Stalbridge store has been able to donate over £10,000 to local good causes including as Julias House, Riding for the Disabled, Future Roots, Sherborne Town Band and several local primary schools, as well as supporting many other cricket and football teams, charities and community groups.
Kate Bevan, Coordinator of the Blandford and Sturminster Newton Cats Protection said: We were thrilled to receive the donation of £500, as it will help us to continue to care for cats and kittens in the mid-Dorset area, so many thanks to Dike & Son and everyone who voted for us. Every year we take in hundreds of cats, most of who are fit and healthy so simply need us to find them a new, loving home.
However there are always a few cases with special needs, such as Sid, who came in with a dislocated back leg. We sorted this out and he is now well on the mend. Then there is Casper, an older cat who was living at Blandford Camp for many years as a stray, and Annie who is about 10 months old and tiny for her age having been malnourished as a kitten. She needs someone that will lavish her with love, be patient with her and give her the security she needs.
All of these cats have either been with us a number of months or have had expensive operations or investigating procedures, which is why winning the £500 from Dike & Son is so important for us. If you feel you are able to take in one of these three cats, please call Mary on 01747 854630.
Louise Ward, who has been running a completely free Dance Club for the past four years at St Nicholas Primary School in Child Okeford, was delighted to win the latest vote, which ended last week.  She said: Mrs Marsh, the head teacher at St Nicholas, announced our amazing victory at Golden Assembly on Friday and the parents and pupils were delighted. I would like to say a very big thank you to all the kind people who voted and supported the dance club and would also like to make a special mention to the two pre-schools who also did very well and put up a great fight right to the end.
The £500 will make a huge difference and will be used to buy medals, trophies and certificates for our 60 members, to reward their continued hard work, improvement and enthusiasm. I will also be putting money towards costumes for their displays at the school fete and planned show.
Dike & Son director Adam Vincent said: Im delighted that Sturminster & Blandford Cats Protection will be putting their £500 to such good use €œ my wife has worked as veterinary nurse all her life and the stories I hear from her can be very sad. Its good to think that as a result of our fantastic customers voting some cats may get a second chance at life.
And its also great to hear that St Nicholas Dance club have won £500 from our online charity voting €œ as a keen dancer myself I look forward to comparing some moves! Well done to them too!
Dike & Son has also made an extra handout of £200 from the MADL fund recently to Sturminster Newton WI, to help them pay for their hall hire.
New nominations are currently being invited for local individuals, charities or good causes for the online poll. Write to Adam Vincent, Dike & Son, Ring Street Stalbridge, Dorset DT10 2NB, describing  the good cause (charity, group or individual) and what they would need £500 for, including contact details.
The current contenders are Blandford childrens bereavement charity Mosaic, the Blackmore Vale Disabled Group and Stalbridge Youth Club €œ to vote for one of them, go to www.welovedorsetfood.co.uk
The store was recently named as a finalist in the 2012 Blackmore Vale Business Awards, in the Community Service category. The awards take place on the 28th June.

Caption: Directors Deirdre and Andy Dike with Julie Plumley of Future Roots

Contact Victoria McManus, Dike & Son marketing on 07968 454904 or Adam Vincent, Dike & Son Store Manager on 01963 362204 for more information or visit http://www.welovedorsetfood.co.uk
For information on MADL visit www.makingadifferencelocally.com

The MADL charity was formed in May 2008 by Nisa-Todays, 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 retailers MADL charity fund.
Nisa-Todays is the UKs leading member-owned organisation, providing benefits to independent retailers and wholesalers in food and drink markets.