Warm-hearted employees at B/E Aerospace, the Kilkeel-based company which manufactures more than a quarter or the world’s airline seats, this week presented a donation of £45,540 to two local charities.
The Alzheimer’s Society and Mourne Stimulus will benefit equally from the donation which was directly raised by the company’s 830-strong workforce over the course of 2013. And there is more good news to come: as the two charities celebrated, two more were waiting in the wings, ready to take on the role of designated charities for 2014.
Wendy Graham from the Entertainments Committee at the Kilkeel plant, said: “Every year we ‘adopt’ two good causes and everyone in the factory gets involved in fundraising for them. Last year we ran special events at St Valentine’s day, Halloween and Christmas … we played golf for our charities … we ran a Fun Day and even held a sponsored weight loss programme … but the highlight of our fund-raising year was undoubtedly the B/E Aerospace version of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. It’s all good fun for us, but there is also a serious purpose behind our activities.
“These are organizations which do a huge amount for our community but which depend upon community support to continue their invaluable work. It is a pleasure to be able to give them a helping hand!”
That helping hand is, clearly, much appreciated by the charities themselves. Accepting her cheque for £22,750, Gillian Clarke of Alzheimer’s Society in Northern Ireland said, “We are extremely grateful to BE Aerospace, Kilkeel for all their hard work and this fantastic donation. They have shown great innovation arranging the different fundraising events over the year. As a charity, we are delighted to be able to work in partnership with organisations like B/E Aerospace Kilkeel to help us support people to live well with dementia today and fund research to find a cure for tomorrow.”
Close to home, the donation of £22,750 will also make a huge difference to Mourne Stimulus Day Centre in Kilkeel whose Development Co-Ordinator, Bronagh Trainor, said, “We are extremely grateful to all the wonderful individuals at B/E Aerospace for their hard work and effort in raising this incredible amount throughout the year. This will be of great support; our attenders will benefit significantly through enhancing their tailored programmes of care and Mourne Stimulus have enjoyed attending the various functions that B/E Aerospace organised. We feel very privileged to have been a nominated charity in 2013.”
Already employees at B/E Aerospace are gearing up for another great year of giving. This time around the beneficiaries will be the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children and Happy Faces NI, the Kilkeel youth club which provides sport, recreation and social activities for local young people, in particular those with a disability or additional needs, together with family and friends.
Looking forward to forging new friendships with the charities, Martin McGinley, Vice President and Managing Director B/E Aerospace Kilkeel said, “All of us who work here are delighted to come together to raise funds for the chosen charities each year and we have built some great community connections and firm friendships with successive charity partners. Our employees have nominated two fantastic charities to benefit in 2014 and I am confident that we’ll once again accomplish great things on their behalf – and I know we’ll have great fun in the process!”
Julie Smith, Chairperson of Happy Faces NI welcomed the nomination, and added: “Thanks to B/E Aerospace support our ‘Happy Helpers’ will be able to take part in community events throughout the year! This has put a smile on the faces of everyone involved!.”
Northern Ireland Cancer Fund For Children CEO Gillian Creevy was equally delighted and said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have been selected as B/E Aerospace’s charity partner, along with Happy Faces NI for 2014. This year is an incredibly special year for Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children as we prepare to welcome families to Daisy Lodge, our brand new therapeutic centre in the Mournes. A stay at Daisy Lodge will allow families, exhausted by the demands of hospital, clinic and treatment regimes, to simply be together again and to benefit from the unique, holistic support provided by our team of Specialists. This is a momentous time for us, and we are thrilled to be sharing the experience with the wonderfully enthusiastic and caring team at B/E Aerospace.”