Focus: Corporate Responsibility - Side by side ChildLine and Spar

ChildLine and Spar have linked up in a sponsorship deal that will allow ChildLine to recruit and train six more volunteer counsellors in six cities.

Spar will also cover the cost of every call that the new counsellors take. The partnership means 900 more children can get help during 2006.

EMMA BIBIZADEH, CORPORATE PARTNERSHIP EXECUTIVE, CHILDLINE

Why did you choose this partnership?

We had enjoyed an ad hoc relationship with Spar for 10 years, so we knew its staff were warm to us and understood our service. We wanted Spar staff to be able to support us on a local level and feel as close to our service as possible.

How do you benefit?

In addition to the funding, this will allow us to communicate with a wide audience of potential volunteers and donors within Spar and show them that counsellors come from all walks of life.

Did you have any reservations?

No. Our volunteer counsellors are our most vital resource and we desperately need the funding.

What are your future plans for the partnership?

We'll be following the progress of our counsellors over the next year and feeding this back to Spar staff. We hope that seeing the difference their money has made will inspire staff to support us in the future.

SUSAN DARBYSHIRE, MARKETING DIRECTOR, SPAR UK

Why did you choose this partnership?

As a group of independent retailers, Spar prides itself on being at the heart of the local communities it serves. We had heard about ChildLine's financial difficulties and realised that helping ChildLine to deliver its services would position both the charity and Spar within our local communities. This sponsorship has enabled ChildLine to recruit and train six counsellors.

How do you benefit?

We've been able to talk to Spar retailers and staff about volunteering opportunities as well as continue our work in the local community.

Did you have any reservations?

No, none at all. Spar has worked with ChildLine in the past and we have created many successful local partnerships.

What are your future plans for the partnership?

We will be following the work of the six sponsored counsellors throughout the course of the year.

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