Staff and customers from MACE stores across Northern Ireland have raised a staggering £40,578 for Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke (NICHS) throughout 2021. MACE began working with the charity in 2016 and since then the partnership has gone from strength to strength, helping rebuild the lives of thousands of local people living with chest, heart and stroke illnesses.
Over the past year, members of staff from across the 77 MACE stores have taken part in a variety of fundraising events including Jolly Jumper Days, Christmas competitions and in-store static cycles. To celebrate International Coffee Day, MACE also donated 50p from the sale of every Frank and Honest coffee purchased in-store to the charity.
Coinciding with NICHS’s 75th anniversary, the static cycles proved popular with each MACE store pledging to undertake a ‘75 mile challenge’ to mark the charity’s special milestone. Staff cycled the distance to raise awareness and funds for the charity’s ground-breaking Long COVID recovery service, which was the first programme to be established in Northern Ireland to help Long COVID sufferers.
Someone who is all too familiar with the impact Long COVID can have is Brona McQuilken from MACE’s Coleraine store. Brona contracted COVID-19 in March 2021 and has been living with the health impacts ever since. Brona says; “As someone who has been affected by Long COVID, I understand how important the charity’s support services are to others living with this condition. The symptoms of Long-COVID can be life-changing and the road to recovery can be a long, hard one but NICHS is there to help.”
“My colleagues at MACE Coleraine completed a static cycle challenge last month and it was great knowing the money raised would go directly to helping people suffering with Long COVID. The support we received from customers, family and friends was fantastic and we are delighted that every penny we raised will go towards getting local people, like me, back on their feet.”
The partnership has thrived over the past 6 years and, to date, MACE has raised over £227,000 for the charity. This extraordinary amount has ensured that NICHS can continue to support over 3,000 chest, heart and stroke survivors across Northern Ireland each year.
Mary Cassidy from MACE says; “I am incredibly proud of our staff and customers who have put in a tremendous effort to help raise such an incredible amount. I would like to thank everyone who supported our fundraising events and gave so generously. The fact NICHS is a local charity that works with local people is very important to us and together we are making a real difference to the lives of thousands of people across Northern Ireland. We look forward to another year of working with the charity and getting involved with lots of great fundraising initiatives.”
Jackie Trainor, Director of Income Generation at Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke adds; “We are so grateful for the ongoing generosity of MACE, their staff and customers who, over the years, have ensured that thousands of people affected by chest, heart or stroke related illnesses have received the support and care that they deserve. We would like to say a huge thank you for raising this fantastic sum of money as nearly 90% of our care and prevention services and research projects are funded exclusively by donations from the public. Fundraising efforts like MACE’s are vital to the work we do. This money will go a long way in helping support the 335,000 local people living with chest, heart and stroke conditions and their families.”