15 May 2020 Community
Costcutter at the heart of the Kirkheaton Community
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, many people across the Kirklees community and beyond have been looking at different ways they can still support the charities close to their hearts. In the close knit village of Kirkheaton, Costcutter owners Sonia and Steven have been at the heart of some amazing fundraising and have been overwhelmed seeing their local community pull together to support two amazing causes - Kirkwood Hospice and Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice.
Sonia and Steven Singh, owners of the Kirkheaton Costcutter shop, have been working in the heart of their community for 19 years. They have seen the local generation expand with children growing up and becoming parents, and parents becoming grandparents.
Prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus, they had planned to celebrate their 19th year at the shop, but initially was unsure what they were going to do.
“Since the lockdown and social distancing guidelines came into place, we knew people were feeling deflated and unsettled, so we started thinking about what we could do to bring the community together and to help those isolated.
“Sonia, our daughter Jasmine and I have always had charity and community in our hearts. We’ve always tried our best to help those who need it. We started by creating care packages to be sent out to vulnerable people, and our daughter Jasmine baked cupcakes for the NHS teams. We just wanted to do as much as we could to help.” said Steven.
Steven and Sonia Singh
Whilst the Singh family were working hard to support their community during the pandemic, they were approached by a local man asking for their support with a unique fundraising idea.
Steven and Sonia said: “The fundraising for Kirkwood Hospice and Forget Me Not started when Mark Watkinson and his family had the idea to start collecting copper change to help local charities who were going to be impacted during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Mark came into the shop and asked if Costcutter could be a drop off point for the local village to donate their copper change. We were thrilled and more than happy to help!”
When Mark had arranged the drop off points, he posted a message on the ‘Kirkheaton Matters’ Facebook page to encourage people to dig out their copper coins. It wasn’t long before the donations started coming in thick and fast.
The Watkinson family counted all of the pennies by hand and couldn’t believe how much it was all adding up to. Over a few weeks, they hit the £1,000 mark, and then an incredible £2,000!
Copper change on the Watkinson's family table ready to be counted!
Steven and Sonia were delighted to see the local village come together during these difficult times to support two local causes.
“It was just one big community effort, it is amazing!” said Sonia.
During the coin collection, a lady popped into Costcutter with a generous gift for Sonia and Steven.
Sonia said: “A lovely lady came into the shop with a meal gift voucher for us so I asked Steven what we should do with the thoughtful gift. We both made the decision to start a raffle to raise even more funds for Kirkwood and Forget Me Not to add to the community's fundraising. So, the next day we promoted it on the Kirkheaton Matters group and officially started the raffle.”
“The next day, we had a bottle of prosecco donated towards the raffle. From then it just snowballed and we ended up with over 100 prizes!
“We’ve had every donation you could think of, from chocolate, vouchers and alcohol, to a Ferrari day experience. With all the amazing prizes being donated, we decided to contribute a boys and girls BMX bike too.”
The enormous display of raffle prizes!
Hundreds of raffle tickets folded and ready to be drawn.
One of the locals, Michael Haigh, drawing a raffle ticket.
The enormous raffle came to an end on Friday 7th May, and after totting up their final total, they were astounded to learn that they had raised an unbelievable £6,000!
Adding this to Mark’s copper change collection, the whole community of Kirkheaton have raised £8,000 which will be split between two amazing causes.
Sonia said: “We were so overwhelmed by the generosity of everyone; it made me cry.”
Steven added: “It has created a real good buzz in the community! We have loved every minute of it. It has been hard organising, but we wouldn’t change it for the world. When even just one person says thank you, it just keeps you going.
“We are so proud to be supporting Kirkwood; It is so close to us here in Kirkheaton. In normal circumstances, our daughter Jasmine volunteers on the In-Patient Unit every Thursday and she absolutely loves it so we know how much the funds will be appreciated.”
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