Shopkeeper raises £4,500 for Romford charity - in pennies
PUBLISHED: 18:00 20 September 2014
Every little helps - especially when it adds up to £4,500.
That’s the total windfall a Romford-based lupus charity received this week thanks to fundraising by an Ilford shopkeeper - and much of it is in pennies.
Lupus UK, which has been based in Eastern Road since 1990, supports those living with the autoimmune condition by funding research and special nurses.
About 10 years ago, Gurnam Chagar’s grandmother, 71-year-old Perminder Chagar, had to have one of her legs amputated because of the disease.
Her suffering prompted the family’s Woodland Road shop to start supporting the charity, and their new donation means the shop has raised more than £8,000 over eight years.
“It’s about three of four thousand pounds we’ve raised,” said Gurnam, of Chagar Super Store, Ilford, before counting the cash.
“We’ve got one of those charity collection boxes - it fills with pennies and 2ps and that has built up.
“We’ve also done other stuff like charity raffles, where we ask customers to spend 50p of a ticket when they come to the shop, and then we give away about £500-worth of fireworks to the winner.
“We gave £1,100 about six or seven years ago. Then we gave £2,200 about three years ago.
“Lupus is something that’s really unfortunate. It’s something that attacks your own body. If you get sick, your body will make it sicker.”
Lupus UK director Chris Maker visited the Chagar store on Tuesday (16) for a cheque presentation and thank the family for its “significant” donation.
He said: “He contacted me to tell us he’d got about £3,000 - it’s quite significant. He realises how difficult it is to raise money - it’s not insignificant at all.”
A condition not fully understood, lupus sees the immune system attack healthy cells, tissue and organs. In 2009, a Lupus UK survey found those with the disease on average had to wait seven and half years for diagnosis.