A GENEROUS businessman has stumped up thousands of pounds to buy a brand new delivery van for a Chorley charity shop.
Managers at The Children’s Society shop in Market Walk shopping centre were facing the troublesome dilemma of whether to carry out expensive repairs for their old van or somehow find the cash for a new one when guardian angel, Brendan Ainscough, came along.
The father-of-three from Preston, who is director of the Wigan based industrial services company, Ainscough Vanguard, donated more than £16,000 for the van.
The valuable vehicle will be used by the charity to collect large donations from people who are unable to get them to the shop themselves and to shift stock between the 15 Children’s Society shops in the north west to ensure each donation has the best chance of being sold.
Denise Trafford, manager of the Chorley store, said: “When it arrived, the volunteers just could not believe their eyes and it has created such a feel good factor among the team because we really didn’t know what we were going to do about our old van which was on its last legs.
“I have already been out for a drive in it and it is absolutely fantastic and I know I speak for everyone when I say thank you to Brendan for his amazing generosity.
The mum-of-two, 44, from Chorley, added: “The fact we have had it all painted with our logo is brilliant because it helps us to distance ourselves from the people out there who give the impression they are collecting for a good cause when actually what they do is sell the items on for profit and may only give a tiny amount of that to charity.
“When people see our van, they will know that all the money raised from the donations which they give to us goes directly back to the charity.”
The Children’s Society is a Christian charity which is dedicated to giving young people a better chance in life. The charity has more than 75 programmes and children’s centres throughout England which offer care, legal support, respite and mentoring schemes to help children from all different backgrounds facing all sorts of difficult situations.
Brendan, 57, heard about the Chorley shop’s van problems via Children’s Society regional manager Debbie Schwarzer when they attended the same family gathering.
He said: “Debbie asked me whether we had any vans for sale from our own fleet and that is how the conversation started so I asked her to leave it with me so I could have a think about it.
“We did consider giving them one of our ex-fleet vehicles but I decided the easiest thing to do would be to buy them a new one so we could get them exactly what they needed and they had something reliable with many years of service ahead of it.
“I am just very pleased to be able to help the charity because it is a fantastic job that these guys do and if this new van does its bit to make their lives a bit easier, then it has been a success.”
Annalisa Johnson, marketing manager for Market Walk, said: “The delivery of the new van is an incredibly generous donation by Brendan and I would also like to say a big thank you from the shopping centre for supporting the Chorley Children’s Society shop in this way.
“His act of great kindness will help to ensure the Chorley store continues to thrive and as a very valued retailer of ours, we are very pleased to hear this has happened too.”
Do you have a large donation for The Children’s Society which you cannot take to the Market Walk shop? Call 01257 264501 to ask about collection in the new van.