Musgrave ‘Tri’ and Succeed in Raising Much Needed Funds for Irish Charities

Over €200k Raised For Three Charities at Musgrave 2019 Triathlon

The annual Musgrave Triathlon took place on Saturday, 31st August at Farran Woods, Co. Cork with more than 130 teams lacing up their runners, donning their goggles and jumping on their bikes on behalf of the 2019 chosen charities; Breakthrough Cancer Research, AsIAm and Focus Ireland.

Since its inception 18 years ago the Musgrave Triathlon has raised an outstanding €4.6 million to support Irish charities make a difference in our communities. This year alone an astonishing €200k was generated for three extremely worthy causes. In the summer months leading up this charity sporting challenge, there were also many Musgrave departmental fundraising events to further increase the sum of money raised. The Musgrave Supply Chain team raised €1,890 through their ‘The Grazing Table’ breakfast pop-up and concert ticket raffle, while the staff in the Cork Warehouse were not afraid of getting their hands wet and raised €1,670 with a dunk tank & raffle. Other staff fundraising activities included a Treadmill Challenge covering 81km, Long Puck, Pre-loved Dress Sale, Long Table Lunch and many more.

This years’ charities, Breakthrough Cancer Research, AsIAm and Focus Ireland, are a constant pillar of support for so many communities throughout Ireland, and this fundraising drive allows them to provide even better services throughout the country. Since the first Musgrave Triathlon in 2002, the sheer generosity of the Irish public is evident through the strong participation and commitment of their retailers, suppliers, staff, participants and volunteers. Individuals such as these continue to exceed expectations by supporting this annual event and increasing the funds raised year on year.

Either as part of a team or as an individual, participants in this years’ Triathlon undertook an 800m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run in the picturesque setting of Farran Woods and the National Rowing Centre. There was also a large number of volunteers on hand helping out during the day; at registration, providing supervision on course, manning water stations and most importantly showing support to athletes.

Not only is this Triathlon an amazing fundraiser but it has been a very popular family fun day. This year’s fun day included a number of activities to keep the kids entertained, including a very popular merry-go-round. Autism charity, AsIAm also erected an Autism Friendly Tent at the Triathlon for people to come and take time out and enjoy some calm during the hustle and bustle of the day. Musgrave partners including Mr Tayto, Naked Juices, Clonakilty Food and Glenilen and brands  like Frank & Honest Coffee, Mood Ice Cream, to name just a few, were on hand to feed the participants and their families, while Munster Triathlon Ambassador, Rob Heffernan was in situ cheering on and motivating participants throughout the course of the day.

Managing Director of SuperValu & Centra, Martin Kelleher commented in relation to this event saying, “It is with great pride that I can yet again say the Musgrave Triathlon has successfully raised another substantial amount of money this year, for charities that do such amazing work in our communities. These worthy charities provide constant help and support to those in need, and it is wonderful to see participants from communities all across Ireland once again lace up their runners and don their goggles to take part in such a fantastic event. We have once again welcomed an increased number of participants this year, and all involved are very proud of the support that in turn is provided to the chosen beneficiaries. Working with our SuperValu and Centra retail partners, we are honoured to support Irish charities to raise much-needed funds that will help communities all across the country.”

Funds raised for this year’s chosen charities will be used for;

  • A three-year PHD scholarship programme with Breakthrough Cancer Research, to help them find new treatments for cancer and hopefully save lives.
  • AsIAm to put in place a full-time community support officer. This individual will be available full time for autistic adults and family members to get in touch with and seek guidance and advice from on a whole range of topics such as accessing diagnosis and services, to dealing with challenges around employment, making friends, or living independently.
  • Focus Ireland to support all their students who have come through their service and help them back into third level education, into career path plans, apprenticeships and develop a career for themselves once they have accommodation.

For those who did not take to the starting line on Saturday you still have the opportunity to donate and show your support for these three deserved Irish charities. To donate to these three charities, or for further information on the Musgrave Triathlon visit www.musgrave-triathlon.com

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SuperValu strengthens its commitment to Autism Friendly Communities by announcing 11 more towns on the Journey to becoming Autism-Friendly

71% of the autism community believes awareness and understanding of autism has increased

Thursday, 19th September 2019 – SuperValu has announced an additional 11 towns on the journey to becoming autism-friendly, continuing to advance its national campaign in partnership with AsIAm, Ireland’s national autism charity and advocacy organisation. The towns include Clane, Bray, Greystones, Wicklow Town, New Ross, Skerries, Lucan, Castlebar, Mallow, Listowel and Tralee.

In conjunction with the announcement, a survey conducted by AsIAm showed that presently the autism community does not find society accessible, understanding and inclusive – but that simple steps could be taken to help change this. A total of 240 people were surveyed who either have autism or know someone closely who does. Those surveyed were asked several questions about their perception of how autism is recognized and understood in retail and in the wider community.

  • 97% of respondents believe that the general public do not understand enough about autism.
  • 89% believe it is important that the general public is educated about autism.
  • 90% say that it is important that their community is autism-friendly.

Despite the majority of those surveyed claiming that the public do not understand enough about autism, 71% believe awareness and understanding of autism has increased in Ireland in the last year. On this, AsIAm CEO Adam Harris says that “awareness and understanding of autism needs to shift to acceptance and support”.

Even more striking were the answers offered by those surveyed in relation to their shopping experiences:

  • 82% believe that most businesses or organizations in their community do not provide the necessary tools to help them participate.
  • However, 62% said they had shopped in an autism-friendly store.
  • 79% believe that most businesses or organizations in their community do not provide a supportive sensory environment which meets their needs.
  • 88% say that if a community was officially autism-friendly it would make them more likely to visit there.

Simple measures can be the difference between exclusion and inclusion, and the survey showed it wouldn’t take a lot for people with autism to have their experiences improved. For example, 50% of respondents said that even if staff were understanding of autism it would greatly improve their experience.

SuperValu are pioneering these changes in-store, and they have also been the enabler in trying to make communities autism-friendly in general through their Autism Friendly Towns campaign. In its first year, the campaign has grown significantly in scale. Having begun as one town in Clonakilty, Co Cork it is outstanding to now welcome these additional 11 towns. The aim of this campaign is to communicate the message that communities fully accessible for autistic people are stronger, more sustainable places to live.

Martin Kelleher, SuperValu Managing Director commented, “As a business, we are on a journey to help make our communities more autism-friendly. Today’s announcement of 11 more towns joining our campaign shows that our roadmap for change is working hard and delivering more inclusive communities. But the work doesn’t stop there. Over 100 of our Supervalu stores offer autism-friendly shopping times, with reduced lighting and less noise. In addition, we are hosting community events and awareness campaigns working with AsIAm, to drive the autism awareness message and make sure more and more communities join us in our aim of becoming an autism-friendly nation.”

AsIAM CEO Adam Harris added, “As Ireland’s National Autism Organisation we are proud to have developed a robust but achievable framework for communities to become autism friendly, in partnership with our colleagues in SuperValu. Autistic people live, work and play in every community across the country. Too often a lack of understanding prevents autistic people from fully participating and contributing to the community. Small steps can make a big difference and communities working together to increase understanding and improve accessibility will bring about happier, healthier lives for autistic people. We look forward to supporting these towns as they go on the journey towards our accreditation.” Adam hosts the AsIAm National Conference taking place this weekend in Malahide, Co. Dublin.

SuperValu’s ambition is to build more inclusive communities across Ireland and their work with AsIAm has allowed them to ensure that they use their unique position in the heart of Irish towns to make positive changes across the entire community. The retailer is committed to raising understanding and awareness of autism among its customers and staff. With over 50,000 families in Ireland living with autism, those affected face barriers to inclusion because of the attitudes of people who may not have first-hand experience of autism.

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SuperValu announces free online delivery for World Autism Awareness Month

SuperValu, in partnership with AsIAm, reaffirms its support of the Autism Community with the roll-out of more activities for 2019

SuperValu, has announced it will be offering free online delivery for the autism community in stores across the month of April in support of World Autism Awareness Month. The initiative comes alongside its existing in-store activities, as SuperValu firmly cements its position as number one supporter of the Autism Community.

Building on the success of its autism-friendly shopping evenings, SuperValu, in partnership with AsIAm, continues its work in raising acceptance and education, building inclusive communities and breaking down those barriers that affect over 50,000 families in Ireland who have a family member who is on the autism spectrum.

SuperValu is already leading the change with a range of initiatives;

  • Clonakilty in County Cork being designated Irelands First Autism Friendly Town in 2018
  • Weekly Autism Friendly Shopping evenings in stores across the country.
  • Sponsorship of nationwide Community Seminars, run in partnership with AsIAm, to provide information and guidance for autistic people and their families

And it’s delighted to be stepping up activity in 2019 by:

  • Offering free Online delivery for the autism community during the month of April
  • Partnering with AsIAm and their Occupational Therapist to identify and highlight products in store and online which are autism friendly.
  • Providing education and information to the wider public throughout April to help increase understanding and acceptance of autism

Speaking on the announcement, SuperValu Marketing Director, Ray Kelly said, “Looking back at the last couple of years, we’re incredibly proud of what our stores, their staff and their customers have achieved with autism friendly shopping evenings and ultimately maximising our unique position to build and enhance inclusive communities. Scally’s SuperValu in Clonakilty has been an integral part of delivering the first Autism Friendly town in Ireland and we’re looking forward to introducing additional initiatives that will bring positivity to the lives of families living with autism. Our free online delivery initiative in 101 stores nationwide, is unique in that it offers convenience when sometimes getting out of the house and into a store can be difficult for many.”

Speaking about the new initiative Adam Harris, Founder of AsIAm said, “Working in partnership with SuperValu on their autism awareness initiatives has really helped to increase acceptance and help people to understand how they can make themselves and their communities more inclusive. Supermarkets, in particular, can act as a trigger for autistic people so for SuperValu to cement their support with their free delivery initiative is a great way of easing the stress of shopping when it’s not the most suitable time. Through SuperValu’s initiatives and activations both in store and online, we hope to see a further step change in building inclusive communities.” 

To avail of free online delivery for the month of April, members of the autism community can log on to SuperValu.ie for further information

To find out more about the SuperValu’s Autism friendly initiatives, visit www.supervalu.ie/real-people/autism-friendly and check out Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

**Free Online Delivery is valid for all transactions over €30 from 18th March until 30th April**

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