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Posted on 02 Apr 02 Apr

Staff don funky footwear in aid of Mencap’s Big Step Forward Appeal

Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons 07778373486

George Best Belfast City Airport staff members recently hosted a Funky Footwear Friday to raise valuable funds and take a ‘big step forward’ for Mencap’s Big Step Forward Appeal.

Volunteers donned their most eye-catching socks and shoes and set about raising money at the airport throughout Friday 27th March 2015. All funds raised were donated to Mencap’s Big Step Forward Appeal, a public fundraising drive to raise the £1.7million needed to build, equip and run the charity’s planned new centre for children and young people with a learning disability and their families.

At the heart of the new centre will be Mencap’s relocated Segal House nursery for 2 to 4 year-olds with a learning disability, autism and developmental delay. The centre is currently being built on the former site of Newtownbreda Primary School.

Vanessa Elder, Mencap’s Regional Fundraising Manager for Northern Ireland, commented: “We were delighted to see our volunteers at George Best Belfast City Airport don their ‘silliest socks’ and ‘most ludicrous loafers’ in aid of Mencap’s Big Step Forward Appeal! This is a really fun, colourful and simple fundraising initiative and we are hoping more companies will come on board and do the same.

“Our new Families and Children’s Centre is due to open in January 2016, so we urgently need the funds required to complete this important project. We are hugely grateful to George Best Belfast City Airport and everyone who donated at their Funky Footwear Friday for helping us get closer to our goal,” said Vanessa.

Stephen Patton, HR Manager of George Best Belfast City Airport, added: “Belfast City Airport is an avid supporter of the local community and we recognise the important role we play as a socially responsible business in helping the third sector achieve their fundraising goals.

“Since 2009 we have raised over £180,000 for a number of local charities which aim to strengthen community relations, environmental responsibility, healthcare and education in Northern Ireland.

“With this said, we’re delighted to wear our most colourful, oddly matched and funkiest footwear this Spring to help raise vital funds for Mencap’s ‘Big Step Forward Appeal’ which our CEO Brian Ambrose chairs.

“We hope our fundraising efforts will inspire other businesses to follow suit to help Mencap build, equip and run their new centre for children with learning disabilities in Northern Ireland.”

In addition to George Best Belfast City Airport, Mencap has connections with corporate partners such as Ulster Rugby, Citigroup, Texthelp Ltd and McKinty and Wright Solicitors.

To donate to Mencap’s Big Step Forward Appeal or for inspiration on how to fundraise, visit www.mencapbigstepforward.org, or contact Mencap by phone at 02890 691351 or email fundraising.ni@mencap.org.uk

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