Shop owner’s generous pledge to Advertiser’s Prospect 160 appeal

SHOPOWNER Nabil Bhimji has gone the extra mile in support of the Adver’s 160 Appeal for Prospect Hospice by pledging to match any amount collected at his convenience store.

Nabil, Kent Mini Mart director, is one of scores of retailers in Swindon to display one of the campaign’s collection tins at his premises.

As his customers’ loose change began piling in over the past couple of weeks, he opted to encourage more donations by offering to match every penny or pound dropped in.

This incentive, he hopes, will in the end benefit hundreds of patients and carers who visit the hospice each week or receive treatment in their own homes.

“We have had it for about three weeks and it’s almost full already so we thought we would match what we collect for Prospect,” he said. “We have been promoting the appeal and we have been asking customers to leave their change.

He added: “It’s a way to send the word out there that Prospect need their help and that the people who use it need their generosity.

“And our customers have been very generous. It’s a good local charity.”

Regardless of the sum collected in the tin, the Old Town shop will double it for the first three times it is full and ready to be picked up by the charity.

“It’s an easy way for people to help raise money,” added Nabil. “And you know it’s not going anywhere other than the charity.”

Each year pennies dropped in collection tins help to raise a staggering £30,000 towards end-of-life and palliative care at the hospice.

Caroline Evans, head of community engagement at the hospice welcomed Nabil’s generous boost. “I think it’s a fantastic initiative from Mr Bhimji, and a really great way, not only of raising funds for us, but also sparking a conversation about our services and how people can support us.

“It’s lovely to hear of members of our community coming up with their own ideas to raise funds for us, and hopefully this might inspire other to do the same.”

Every year residents are also invited to help themselves to one of the charity’s cardboard collection boxes, keep it in their home and place all their loose change in the small piggy bank. Combined with business tins, they help to raise almost £100,000 a year.

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