Heart of England Co-operative Society adopts Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice as corporate charity

Ali Kurji, Chief Executive of the Heart of England Co-operative Society, with Lady Daventry, Patron of Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice.


Society steps in as hospice battles against £80,000 shortfall

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice has been named the Heart of England Co-operative Society’s nominated charity for 2018.

The news comes as the hospice battled a recent £80,000 shortfall.

Over the coming 12 months staff across the Society’s network of 32 Food stores and 13 Funeral homes have pledged to pull out all the stops with a whole host of fundraising ideas, to help bridge the gap and recoup some of the hospice’s losses.

And Ali Kurji, Chief Executive of the Society, is calling on the retailer’s thousands of loyal members and customers to get behind the hospice, to help keep all beds open around the clock to babies and children from across the Midlands.

He said: “When we saw the plight of Zoë’s Place before Christmas – that it would have to close beds and add poorly children and their families to a waiting list due to a lack of funding – we knew then that as a Society we needed to do what we could to help keep as many beds open for as much as possible, if not round the clock.

“We are delighted to support the hospice over the coming year. We have long held an association with the charity since before it first opened its doors in 2011 when we handed £1,000 to the building of the hospice and a further £2,000 towards the parents’ Starlight Room bereavement suite.

“There have been other donations since.”

He added: “In the years since it opened the hospice has touched the hearts of everyone in the Coventry and Warwickshire community.

“We are delighted to be able to support the hospice over the coming year and know that all of our staff will do their very best to help raise the funds needed to give these children the first class care that they deserve.”

First launching its corporate charity scheme in 2012, Ali Kurji and his employees helped raise £46,000 for Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance in its first two years.

Over the following two years it raised similar amounts for The Myton Hospices and, for the past two years, Guide Dogs for the Blind.
With the support of members and customers the Society is hoping to repeat the success of previous corporate charity schemes for Zoë’s Place.

First opening its doors six years ago, Zoë’s Place provides palliative, respite and end of life care to babies and infants, from birth to five years, who suffer from life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses.

A unique facility in the Midlands, the hospice costs £1.4 million a year to run, with care offered free of charge to the children and their families.

The hospice receives very little funding with all income generated mainly through donations and fundraising events.

Muna Chauhan, Corporate Manager of Zoë’s Place, said: “It is fantastic news that the Heart of England Co-operative Society is partnering with us in 2018. The amount of awareness it will generate in all the Food stores is fantastic and the partnership with the Funerals Division is so important as we are providing end of life care for more and more of our families.

“The partnership with the Society as a whole is tremendous for Zoë’s Place – it will help us get our name out there, enable us to reach out to more people and to spread the word about the work of Zoë’s Place and the services we offer.”

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