SWINDON Down’s Syndrome Group was announced as Sainsbury’s Bridgemead’s chosen charity of the year yesterday.

The organisation, which supports children with the condition and their families, will be given free rein to organise events at the supermarket one weekend a month and hold regular fundraisers and collections.

Three charities had been shortlisted by the store out of scores nominated by staff and customers, but the infectious enthusiasm of Down’s Syndrome Group chairman Kim West placed her and her team ahead of the pack.

Sainsbury’s spokesman Simon Belcher said: “All their pitches were wonderful, but Kim, the chairman of Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group was so enthusiastic and obviously wanted it so much that we chose them.

“They will have a designated weekend every month to do with as they wish, and we will put on events for them and attend their other events.”

Last year the shop raised £8,000 through its partnership with the Samaritans.

“We are hoping for more than £8,000 this year,” he added. “The more effort the charity puts in the more they get out of it.”

To find out more see www.swin dondownsgroup.org.uk/