Go on… do as Raj would do this month!

Raj Aggarwal

English Spar wholesaler AF Blakemore is set to launch a fantastic UK-wide charity fundraising week this month in memory of late industry legend Raj Aggarwal.

English Spar wholesaler AF Blakemore has unveiled plans for a fantastic week-long charity fundraising campaign in memory of the much-loved and greatly missed retailing legend Raj Aggarwal – and all Scottish local retailers are invited to play their part in their own communities.

A close friend of the team at Scottish Local Retailer and an all-round true gentleman, Raj sadly passed away from Covid-19 in April 2020 at the age of just 51.

Raj owned Spar stores in Wigston, Leicester, and Hackenthorpe, near Sheffield and his wholesaler is now set to honour his memory with a fundraising campaign between 19 and 26 April.

AF Blakemore is calling on convenience retailers in Scotland and across the UK to join its #SPARdoasRAJwoulddo and #doasRAJwoulddo campaign by donating to those most in need in their local communities.

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.

Working with Raj’s wife, Sunita, the wholesaler aims 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.”

Retailers are being asked 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 pioneer of the retail industry, Raj was a member of the Association of Convenience Stores’ Independent Retailer Board as well as AF Blakemore’s Meridian & Welsh Guild Board of retailers.

AF Blakemore’s charitable trust, the Blakemore Foundation, is also offering to match every charitable donation from independent Spar retailers across the Meridian & Welsh Guild up to the value of £200.

Jerry Marwood, AF Blakemore Group Commercial Managing Director 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.

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

“Give yourselves a pat on the back too!” – Sunita Aggarwal

As well as offering support and help to those in your local community during the campaign, Raj’s wife Sunita is also encouraging all local retailers and their teams to give themselves a big pat on the back. She told SLR: “Yes, this a campaign to encourage retailers to support those in their local communities that need some help or assistance, but for me a huge part of the campaign is recognising the absolutely incredible role that retailers in Scotland and across the UK have already played in their communities over the last 12 months. What you have achieved is nothing short of unbelievable and you all deserve recognition and praise for that. Every community in the country owes you a massive ‘thank you’. So please give yourselves a huge pat on the back and know that you deserve every ‘thank you’ you get and your communities are so lucky to have you there for them.

“This campaign isn’t all about money. It’s about helping each other out when we need help. Yes, that might mean financial help but it could just as easily mean being there for someone who needs a shoulder to cry on or even just giving someone a big hug. I don’t think we ever truly appreciated the value of a hug until we couldn’t give or get one anymore.”

#doasRAJwoulddo

  • Donate goods, supplies and products to the charities, organisations or individuals most in need within your community.
  • Make a monetary donation at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SomeoneSpecial/RajAggarwal1
  • Share what you are doing in Raj’s honour on social media using the hashtags #SPARdoasRAJwoulddo or #doasRAJwoulddo to help inspire others. More information on the campaign is available on AF Blakemore’s website.