A Yorkshire baker has handed over a cheque for £11,000 to Kidney Research UK following a year of fundraising – marking the firm reaching a milestone £100,000 total donation to charity over the last 10 years.
With help from their customers and team Thomas the Baker, which has 30 stores across Yorkshire and the North East, has set about raising money for its ‘charity of the year’ for the last decade.
In total, combining that money with funds raised through the sale of carrier bags, the firm has handed over more than £100,000 to charities over the last 10 years including the Alzheimer’s Society, Marie Curie, British Heart Foundation, Help for Heroes, Macmillan Cancer Support, Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
This year’s £11,000 donation to Kidney Research UK was handed over at the charity’s Peterborough headquarters by Thomas’ Quality Assurance Manager Chris Chapman, who has a personal link to the charity has received a kidney transplant back in 2009. Chris and his wife June spent several hours with the team finding out more about the work funded by donations to the charity. Kidney Research UK relies almost wholly on donations which they use to fund breakthroughs in diagnosis, treatment and patient care for those affected by kidney disease.
There are three million people in the UK with kidney disease, with one million sufferers unaware they have the disease. There is no known cure. In 2003 Chris Chapman, at the time aged 43, went for a routine health check which revealed he had kidney disease. In 2009, having spent three years on dialysis, Chris got the call for a transplant, and although recovery wasn’t easy, the transplant was a success. The disease is a hereditary one, which Chris later discovered had led to the death of his father when he was seven.
Chris Chapman said: “It was a pleasure to be able to go and take this cheque to Kidney Research UK, and obviously it’s something I feel very grateful to have the opportunity to do as a recipient of a kidney transplant 10 years ago. It was fantastic to find out more about the work they do, including current projects they’re working on with the University of Sheffield. We got to chat to many of the staff at the charity, a couple of whom suffer from the same kidney disease as myself (Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease).
“Apart from the hospital visits, the regular blood tests and the tablets life is now as normal as it could be. However, the average life for a transplanted kidney is 10-15 years, and mine is now 10 years old. So, it’s vital to me and to millions of others that the research and development continues on. Thank you to everyone who helped contribute to the donation which has just been handed over – the work it will help fund is so very important.”
Richard Phillips, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Kidney Research UK, said: “I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who works and shops at Thomas the Baker. Without all of your individual support, the company wouldn’t have been able to raise an amazing £11,000 last year! This will go a very long way toward funding life-saving research. Thank you!
“I also wanted to thank the brilliant Chris and June Chapman. Chris has had a personal journey with kidney disease and he has long thought we would make a great charity of the year partner with Thomas the Baker – we’re so glad it paid off! We will always be incredibly grateful for your support. It was an absolute pleasure to meet Chris and June when they visited our offices in December and thank you for telling us all your story. Finally, thank you to Chris and June for leaving us with loads of lovely Thomas the Baker goodies. The office made light work of all the baked treats, they tasted amazing!”
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