A.F. Blakemore is set to launch a charity campaign in April in memory of much-loved SPAR retailer Raj Aggarwal. 

Next month the company will be calling on convenience retailers across the UK to join its #SPARdoasRAJwoulddo and #doasRAJwoulddo campaign by donating to those most in need in their local communities.

Raj Aggarwal, who owned SPAR stores in Wigston, Leicester, and Hackenthorpe, near Sheffield, sadly passed away from Covid-19 in April 2020 at the age of just 51.

Always at the heart of his stores’ communities, Raj was renowned for putting the needs of others first. His sense of charity was best demonstrated by his large charitable donations to the Glenfield Hospital in Leicester in March 2020. He was supporting his local NHS team at the beginning of the pandemic, when they needed it most.

Now A.F. Blakemore, the SPAR community and Raj’s wife, Sunita, want to recognise and remember him for his commitment to helping others.

Sunita explained: “Raj was always doing things for other people, and he would love to know that he is still continuing to help others now.

“Please help keep his memory alive by supporting this campaign, supporting your community and making a difference to those who really need it.”

From 19th to 26th April, A.F. Blakemore is encouraging convenience retailers to ‘do as Raj would do’ by donating goods, supplies and products to the charities, organisations or individuals most in need within their communities.

Retailers will be invited to talk about what they are doing in Raj’s honour on social media, using the hashtags #SPARdoasRAJwoulddo or #doasRAJwoulddo to help inspire others.

A.F. Blakemore’s charitable trust, the Blakemore Foundation, is also offering to match charitable donations from independent SPAR retailers across the Meridian & Welsh Guild up to the value of £200.

A pioneer of the retail industry, Raj was a member of A.F. Blakemore’s Meridian & Welsh Guild Board of retailers and also the Association of Convenience Stores Independent Retailer Board.

A.F. Blakemore Group Commercial Managing Director Jerry Marwood commented: “The feeling of sadness that has overwhelmed our team since hearing of Raj’s passing is testament to the role that he played in the life of our business.

“Whether as a Guild Board representative, a customer or friend, Raj was ever-present in the world of SPAR and convenience retailing. To say that he is missed by all of us is an understatement of massive proportion.

“Please help continue Raj’s legacy by showing our neighbourhoods that convenience retailers truly do make a difference in the communities they serve.”

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