AUTISM Wessex has won £500 to help young people with autism to lead more independent lives, thanks to generous customers at award-winning supermarket and deli Dike & Son in Stalbridge.
The charity helps children and adults with autism in Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Somerset access education, housing, care and advocacy services that will help them to develop their social and communication skills and become more independent.
While there is no cure for autism, with appropriate education, support or care and by making the world an easier place to understand, the impact of autism can be reduced and people with autism can be active citizens enjoying maximum independence and a good quality of life.
Gemma Saunders, Corporate Partnerships Officer, came to the Stalbridge store last week to meet the directors and pick up the cheque for £500.
She said: We were delighted to win the Making a Difference Locally online vote following the Dike & Son campaign. We would like to thank our supporters, staff and the business community for voting for us and getting behind the campaign.
The £500 will be put towards our advocacy service which provides a free information and advice line, offering unbiased information and advice to anyone affected by autism. This money will enable us as a local charity to continue making a difference.
Every few months three new local good causes go head to head on the Dikes website to win €œ and the amount has recently been doubled to £1,000. Current contenders are Stalbridge Pre-School, Gillingham Foodbank and The Balsam Centre in Wincanton. Votes can be cast by going online at the stores website, www.welovedorsetfood.co.uk
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 fund.
Since the MADL scheme began five years ago, the family-run Stalbridge store has been able to donate over £12,000 to local good causes including as Julias House, Riding for the Disabled, Future Roots, Sherborne Town Band and several local primary schools.
The store last year won an award for its service to the community in the 2012 Blackmore Vale Business Awards.
Pictured are directors Adam Vincent (left) and Andy Dike, with Gemma Saunders. Visit www.welovedorsetfood.co.uk for more details about the MADL online vote. Picture: John Morley
To nominate a local good cause or charity, 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 funding for, including contact details.
Contact Adam Vincent, Dike & Son Director and 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.