The Bridge SPAR in the Community

30 January 2018

A Primary School, an Animal Sanctuary and a Call Centre all had one thing in common over the past few weeks, all were beneficiaries of the SPAR Corporate Community Benefits scheme, funded by The Bridge SPAR and its customers.

SPAR’s Community Benefit Programme is a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative set up by the SPAR Corporate Retail Stores comprising of SPAR Arundel, The Bridge and Sam Levy’s Village SPAR.  The scheme has a simple mission: to raise funds from its community for communities in need! “The concept is very simple, we invite customers to put their change into the designated Charity boxes of their choice displayed in each of the stores. The store will then match the amount raised by customers before donating it to the chosen worthy cause. Each store has a selection of 2-3 charities that they support, dependent on the size of the store. The charities were chosen to ensure that all facets of the needy community benefit from the scheme” said Emma Ruzvidzo, Group Marketing Manager for SPAR Corporate Retail Stores.

In the past two weeks, Bally Vaughan Sanctuary, Alex Park Primary School and Childline have benefited from this scheme from the funds raised at The Bridge SPAR. Bally Vaughan is an animal sanctuary, home to several animals that include Lions, Duikers, Vervet Monkeys and Baboons, run by Sarah Carter and her husband. Situated 40km away from the city centre, it is the perfect environment for wild animals who have been hurt or orphaned and in need of support!

The funds raised from The Bridge amounting to $1,500 was used to purchase diamond mesh fencing wire for their lion enclosures. “We purchased 30acres of land in the Arcturus area and that is where we are going to use the diamond mesh fencing to erect the lion’s enclosure” said Sarah Carter.

Alex Park Primary School also received donations from the Retail store in the form of Shona Books of which the school was much in need of in order to improve their grade 7 papers. The Headmistress of the school, Mrs Sango, encouraged her pupils and their parents to shop more at SPAR and ensure they donate their change to the school in order for the school to keep receiving funds with the support of The Bridge SPAR.

Childline provides the only 24 hour call centre in the country that provides support services to children throughout the country who have been sexually, physically or emotionally abused. Tara Miller, the Director of Childline, said that the funds received from The Bridge would be used to purchase more telephone handsets and computer workstations for their new Helpline that they were going to build. “I’m very grateful to SPAR for not only this donation, but for all the breakages and continual support that we continue to receive from The Bridge” she added.

“We are very passionate about addressing the needs of our community and its heart warming when customers together with the corporate world address this. We are going to continue doing this because without the community that supports us – we would not be in existence. I applaud what these amazing people are doing with the societies that they run, it is remarkable, commendable help and I’m grateful that we are able to play a part in their success stories!” remarked Rob Spencer, General Manager for SPAR, The Bridge.

At present, the charities that are being supported by the scheme are: KidzCan, Environment Africa, Vision Aids, Chinyaradzo Children’s Home, Alex Park School, Friends Animal Foundation, Jairos Jiri, Hatfield Community, Emerald Hill Children’s Home, Bally Vaughan, North Park School and SPCA. To date, about nine thousand dollars has been raised including the match by the stores and will continue to be distributed to more charities in the coming few weeks.

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