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Red Funnel Staff And Customers Raise £30,000 For Aspire

Smiles and cheers were in the air as representatives of Red Funnel and Aspire got together for the ferry operator’s annual cheque presentation tradition.

It follows another successful year of its Charity of the Year programme.

Over the course of 2023, Red Funnel staff and customers contributed £30,000 in support for Aspire, including cash donations, and other in-kind support.

The ferry firm worked with the award-winning community hub throughout the year, undertaking a series of fundraising and awareness campaigns.

Based in Ryde, Aspire operates services all over the Island in partnership with the Isle of Wight Council and other voluntary partners.

Aspire’s wide and varied services range from the group’s ‘Creative Hub’, which offers space for rehearsals and production as well as a graphic design and editing space.

Other services include sewing and craft groups, gardening clubs, a warm hub, community café, a soft play space for kids and the UK’s first escape room set inside the crypt of an old church.

The buzzing space also hosts regular workshops teaching a wide range of new skills, from creative writing to upcycling, to managing mental wellbeing.

At its core, the charity’s mission is to support the Island community with a focus on providing spaces for people to meet, grow, and enhance their friendships and social networks, alleviating loneliness and isolation.

Lee Hudson, Red Funnel’s Commercial Director, together with team members Sandra Whatley and Kathryn Botfield represented the cross-Solent ferry operator at the cheque presentation, which was held at the charity’s headquarters in Ryde.

The team was joined by Aspire CEO Trevor Nicholas, JD Viette, Head of People and Culture and Karen Eeles, Fundraising Manager.

Speaking about the impact of Red Funnel’s support, Trevor Nicholas, CEO of Aspire, said: 

“Aspire is extremely grateful for the support we have received from Red Funnel and its customers over the past year.

“The money raised will help us to continue supporting the most vulnerable members of our community through friendship and practical support.

"This year alone we’ll provide over 8,000 free hot meals to people along with assistance, advice and purpose as we help build up the community here on the Island.”

Aspire was chosen as Red Funnel’s 2023 Charity of the Year following a public vote.

The programme began in 2015 and has raised more than £335,000 in support of charitable causes benefiting the Island community.

Red Funnel’s current Charity of the Year partner for 2024 is the Isle of Wight Foodbank, which aims to help those struggling with food poverty and short-term crisis across the Isle of Wight.

To find out more about Red Funnel’s Charity of the year programme, visit: https://www.redfunnel.co.uk/coty2024

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