Shoppers comes up trumps for children

The amount of sports equipment raised by customers at the Sainsbury’s stores in Eastbourne and Hampden Park has topped £1million.

Under a scheme launched in 2005, shoppers are given vouchers whenever they spend money in the Arndale Centre or shop or its sister store in Hampden Park.

These are then used to make a donation to a local group, school, nursery, club or other or organisation, with the supermarket giant handing over equipment, and even special active experiences.

And, according to a spokesman for the chain, the total value of the donations made in Eastbourne is now £1.86million.

Among those who have benefit across the Eastbourne and wider East Sussex area are the 6th Seaford Scouts, who were one of the latest groups to be given an equipment boost under the Active Kids scheme.

The scouts have already collected an impressive 7,063 tokens this year, affording them a bumper stock of new equipment for their young members to start using.

They are one of 49,000 registered recipients of new gear across the UK and the people behind the fundraiser want to encourage other schools or clubs who are not already signed up to do so soon, or risk missing out on free equipment.

Sainsbury’s head of sponsorship Jat Sahota said, “The Active Kids scheme has helped provide a massive four million pieces of equipment since it’s launch and with this year’s catalogue featuring Paralympic sports equipment which organisations could choose to order, we will continue to encourage young people of all abilities in East Sussex to experience and enjoy leading healthier, more active lifestyles and help carry on the momentum of what has been an incredible year of sport in the UK.”

None other than David Beckham has backed the drive, and has become an ambassador along with London 2012 double gold medallist Ellie Simmonds. The England football legend said, “I love it when I hear that I’ve inspired a young person to try out sport, and that’s what Active Kids is all about. Plus, as a father of four, I know how important it is to encourage young people to be active, regardless of their ability.”

Anyone who wants to sign up their club, school or nursery to benefit from the scheme can get more information by popping into their local Sainsbury’s store and asking to speak to someone about Active Kids.

Alternatively, visit the official website online at