The UK’s market leader for personalised knitted schoolwear Rowlinson Knitwear has announced Millie’s Trust is its key nominated charity until 2019.

The announcement follows a company-wide survey inviting employees to choose the charity they would most like to support, resulting in a unanimous vote in favour of Millie’s Trust. Rowlinson’s support includes an annual donation, raising awareness of the charity’s causes, fundraising activities and 30 days of employee time annually for voluntary work.

Millie’s Trust was founded by Joanne and Dan Thompson in memory of their baby daughter, Millie, who died as a result of a choking incident at her nursery in October 2012. The charity delivers affordable first aid training courses across the North West and nationally. It provides free places to expectant parents, parents with infants under 12 months and those facing financial hardship. The charity has been instrumental in the introduction of Millie’s Mark, a voluntary accreditation awarded as a special endorsement to nurseries in England that go above the Early Years Foundation Stage guidelines, by having 100% of staff trained in paediatric first aid.

Rowlinson has been supplying Millie’s Trust with branded garments since 2015, which are worn by their first aid training staff. The knitwear business increased its support for the charity throughout 2016, hosting a celebratory “Spooky Day” fancy dress event for its employees on Halloween and a number of staff attended Millie’s Ball, the charity’s annual gala dinner which raised just over £10,000 in 2016.

Rowlinson’s Managing Director, Donald Moore, said, ‘Living our values is very important to us and traditionally, we have supported many local charities without great fanfare. Despite facing a deeply personal tragedy, Joanne and Dan’s motivation to be a force for good inspired us and we felt we wanted to give them a bigger commitment and help raise awareness of their amazing work. All our people have the opportunity to get involved with fundraising activities and we are excited to have a team of 10 runners for the Great Manchester Run 10K in May.

‘In addition, the 30 days of voluntary work means we can provide professional advice, marketing support and even complete practical tasks for Millie’s Trust, so that they can focus on delivering first aid training that could save lives.’

Joanne Thompson, CEO of Millie’s Trust, comments, ‘As we draw closer to our fifth anniversary, we’re delighted to have the ongoing support and commitment of the Rowlinson team. It is vital that more families gain the life-saving skills and knowledge that we provide, so they have the confidence to act quickly and competently in an emergency situation. Rowlinson’s pledge to support Millie’s Trust enables us to help more families with the critically important first aid training we offer. We are looking forward to working with them much more in 2017 and beyond.’

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