August 21 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
»A Gazette reporter lived out his Dale Winton fantasies when he performed a supermarket sweep to raise money for a charity helping victims of domestic abuse.
And Jon Dean, senior reporter, was within touching distance of a world record as he sped round the shelves of the 99p Store, in Holloway Road, Archway last week.
The shop, which opened in December, contacted the Gazette offering the chance of the charity dash; the contestant would have 99 seconds to pick things off the shelves – one by one – and all the goods, plus vouchers of the same value, would be donated to a good cause, in this case Solace Women’s Aid.
Jon said: “Domestic violence is a big problem in Islington and Solace does fantastic work with victims so we were very keen to help them out.
“I spent a bit of time scanning the shop and working out my plan of attack, both in terms of getting things off the shelves quickly and making sure they were useful to the charity. In the end I went for feminine products – deodorants, hair dyes and so on, plus things for babies.
“It is a lot harder than it looks and I was completely exhausted by the end. There were things everywhere, I’m glad I wasn’t cleaning up.
“I’d been told the world record was 267 items, and when the cashier was going through them I thought I had done it for a second.
“In the end I came up short with about 200 items. Still, not a bad effort and it’s all for a good cause.”
Mary Mason, chief executive officer at Solace Women’s Aid, said: “We’re thrilled that the Gazette has donated all these really useful toiletries to us for the women and children we’re supporting in the borough. Domestic Violence destroys lives and is still on the rise in London; women and children come to our services in crisis and live on very tight budgets while they are trying to recover from the horrendous experiences they’ve been through. If you need help with domestic or sexual violence please remember that our services at Solace Women’s Aid are there to support you and we can help you to be safe and move on in life.”
Tony Brown, managing director of 99p Stores, which originally launched in Holloway in 2001, said: “We were delighted to be involved in supporting a charity that benefits the local community. Our store in Archway opened last month, and we have been welcomed by customers who are receiving great value in our stores, so giving a little back is what we all should do.”
n For more information about the charity, visit www.solacewomensaid.org or call 0808 802 5565