Debenhams employees in Milton Keynes have rallied round and played their part in raising £2m to provide lifelong support to wounded, injured or sick Service Personnel and Veterans.
Debenhams in intu helped the company reach the £2m milestone following a dedicated four-year drive that has included marathons, “Tough Mudder” challenges, bake offs, bike rides and staff members cycling over 40 miles on a spin bike to raise £650 in one go.
The store, in Midsummer Place, raised a grand sum of £7,130 including £1,670 in 2016, £3,350 in 2017 and £2,109 in 2018.
The incredible fundraising efforts taken on by the 27,000 Debenhams staff around the country is helping Veterans to live independent and fulfilling lives. From national collections to 350-mile bike rides, every single penny raised has helped Veterans and Service Personnel reach their potential, regain their purpose and have a positive impact on society.
In addition to the fundraising, Debenhams has launched a new in-store get-together programme that provides a safe space for family members of those affected by military service to meet up and find local support networks.
Kimberlea Prior, store manager at Debenhams in Milton Keynes, said: “We are delighted to have raised the £2m. Everyone in store has been a passionate supporter of Help for Heroes and this milestone is a testament to their hard work and dedication.”
Gemma Morgan, a Help for Heroes Ambassador who has received support for post-traumatic stress as a result of her military service, said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to Debenhams because the help and support it gives for Help for Heroes and the Veterans is incredible.
“The charity allows us to step forward and is pivotal in our recovery. When I left the military in 2002 there was no support. I knew I was unwell and those years of having no safe space to reach out to was incredibly isolating.
“The last two years, by having that space to be able to go and be welcomed, has allowed me to feel like I belong again. For me personally it has been transformational and I know other veterans would say the same.”
Mel Waters, CEO of Help for Heroes, said: “The fundraising effort by Debenhams has been nothing short of incredible and I would like to thank each and every employee who has played their part in raising the £2m.
“This donation continues to make a real and tangible difference to our beneficiaries and their families in providing comprehensive support for complex needs around physical injury, well-being and mental health.
“Without the support of organisations such as Debenhams, Help for Heroes would not be able to carry out the vital work that allows us to rebuild lives and help our beneficiaries lead fulfilling and independent lives.
“Our work remains entirely reliant on donations and we are humbled and truly grateful for all the support we receive that changes the lives of our Heroes for the better.”