The Belper store helding an awareness day on Saturday 19 July about kidney transplants, to fundraise for regular customer Simon Elmore.
Staff supported loyal customer and long-term transplant patient Simon by establishing a new charity the Royal Derby Kidney Patient Association, and organising the awareness day.
They also took part in a charity walk ending in Holbrook’s White Hart pub, where they drew a raffle that they’ve had been selling tickets for in-store to raise extra money.
Customers were also invited to drop into the store where Simon and members of the kidney transplant support group, including a representative from the Royal Derby hospital, spoke to customers about the charity and were on hand to give advice to those looking for more information.
Andy McBride, store director, said: ‘We are priviledged to be supporting Simon, a loyal customer of ours, in his mission to start this charity. We are working closely with the Normanton and Derby stores, and the store soon to be opening in Ripley, to fundraise over the next few months.'
To date, the Belper store along with the Normanton and Derby stores have collectively donated £1,000 to contribute to Simon’s target of £5,000 which will enable him to launch the charity.
Simon, 39, has suffered from kidney failure for the past six years. Originally spotted more than 10 years ago, Simon was told his kidneys were functioning at 90% when he went to give blood. However, his blood pressure started to increase, and many years later he was told his kidneys had failed and he had to be put on dialysis.
His long working long hours took their toll until he exhausted himself and suffered a stroke early last year. Simon was no stranger to the hospital as he had open heart surgery and suffered infections in many parts of his body.
‘When I found out that my kidneys had failed I started to spiral out of control. I had to be put on peritoneal dialysis so I carried on as normal and didn’t rest my body as I should have.
Simon goes on to say, ‘From early 2013 I spent about seven months in hospital and went through so much. But instead of getting downbeat, I decided to reassess my situation and wanted to help support others like me.
‘This is why I want to set up the Royal Derby Kidney Patient Association, so I can be the voice of experience to others and provide support which was unavailable to me at the time.’