With over 20 cancelled fundraisers since March, two of Northern Ireland’s most essential charities are finally launching their first official campaign since lockdown with the help of their charity partners, SPAR and EUROSPAR NI.

The teams and service users of Marie Curie NI and Cancer Fund for Children have had to overcome huge obstacles to keep vital services operating as best they can, while all fundraising events were cancelled in the face of the global pandemic and subsequent lockdown.

Now, their first official fundraising event in five months will take place throughout August with SPAR and EUROSPAR NI and their Pick Me Up Picnic initiative.

The Pick Me Up Picnic encourages friends and families to get together in a safe way, at home or in a local park anytime throughout August, pack up for a socially distanced picnic and donate towards the charities that make a difference to families across Northern Ireland affected by cancer, life-limiting and terminal illnesses, and who have been adversely affected during the lockdown and pandemic.

The teams at SPAR and EUROSPAR NI have also put together an activity pack that can be downloaded for a suggested donation of £3, all of which goes to the charities. It is full of recipes and games for those taking part, as well as information on fundraising for the charities.

Bronagh Henderson, Brand Marketing Manager at Henderson Group, which owns the SPAR and EUROSPAR brands in Northern Ireland says it is also their first charity partner campaign since March and they’re excited to get back supporting both organisations.

“Both our Blooming Great Tea Party for Marie Curie and the Community Coffee Morning for Cancer Fund for Children were cancelled this year, which are two of our flagship events for our partners and bring in significant funds for them. As soon as lockdown restrictions were eased in Northern Ireland, we knew we wanted to invite our shoppers and communities to get together to help us help our partners get back up and running again.”

ORMO® and Irwin’s Bakery are sponsoring the Pick Me Up Picnic, while suppliers to the brands’ enjoy local bakery range are donating 10p of every product across the range purchased from 01 August – 20 September 2020.

Bronagh continued; “Daily Bake, Holmes Bakery and Graham’s, our local suppliers that produce our delicious enjoy local bakery range of cupcakes, traybakes and muffins are all on board in joining SPAR by co-funding a 10p donation from the purchase of every product in the range going towards the charities.”

SPAR’s Executive Chef Carl Johannesson has also produced an Ultimate Sandwich using an ORMO® Floury Bap and local products that will be available for those enjoying a picnic to recreate at home from their activity packs, while the Marie Curie Hospice in Belfast will hold a picnic in the gardens to say thank you to staff and nurses for their relentless dedication as front line key workers.

Anne Hannan, Marie Curie Partnerships Manager added; “The past months have been challenging with most fundraising events being cancelled so support from SPAR NI just gives everyone at Marie Curie a pick me up.  We are delighted to be benefiting from the Picnic fundraiser in August and money raised will allow Marie Curie to provide care and support to people and their families living with a terminal illness right across Northern Ireland.”

Alex Murdock, Cancer Fund for Children Corporate Fundraiser finished; “Cancer, and how it affects children and their families, will not stop during the coronavirus crisis and with the support of our Corporate Partner EUROSPAR NI, their wonderful customers and our local communities, we will continue to be here for families during the worst, as well as the best of times. We are thrilled to be working alongside EUROSPAR, SPAR and Marie Curie for the ‘Pick Me Up Picnic’ this August and looking forward to helping ‘Pick Up’ Northern Ireland as we look to brighter times ahead while also raising some vital funds to ensure children don’t have to face cancer alone.”

To find out more about being part of the Pick Me Up Picnic and to download an activity pack visit spar-ni.co.uk/picnic or eurosparni.co.uk/picnic.