National homewares retailer Dunelm has announced that the company raised £281,162 for family support charity Home-Start in the first of their two-year partnership on Tuesday night, as the company prepares for a national fundraising week 8th-14th October.

Family support charity Home-Start and national homewares retailer Dunelm announced their two-year fundraising partnership to support the charity’s life-changing work with vulnerable families in November 2016.

The first year of the partnership has seen Home-Start merchandise and special cupcakes being sold in Dunelm’s 170 stores, as well as colleagues from around the business take part in fundraising activities including the London Marathon, abseiling and hiking the Three Peaks.

The total was announced at Dunelm’s annual seminar on Tuesday evening and a cheque was presented to Anita Frith and Stephanie Henderson-Barrett from Home-Start by Dunelm Customer Director, Leonie Foster.

In addition to the year-round merchandise in stores, the retailer has also planned a week-long charity event asking colleagues to contribute to a total of 20,000 miles through hiking, running and cycling from 8th to 14th October.

Colleagues from around the business have organised a wide range of events including static bikes in stores, hiking up Mount Snowdon and an 800-mile cycle ride over 5 days, visiting Dunelm stores and local Home-Starts in Kilmarnock, Carlisle, Lancaster, Huddersfield, Burton-upon-Trent, Cannock, Kidderminster, Bristol, Salisbury, Aylesbury, St Albans and finishing at Dunelm’s Store Support Centre in Syston on 12th October.

Anita Frith, Head of Corporate & Fundraising Development at Home-Start said: “We’d like to thank everyone at Dunelm for the incredible support we’ve received since the launch of our partnership last year. We’ve already smashed our first year £250,000 target and we can’t wait to get involved in more activities with Dunelm. The money raised will enable us to reach out further, to more families struggling to cope. Over 100 children are referred to our service every day and the need for our work is acute and growing.”

Dunelm Customer Director Leonie Foster said: “At Dunelm, we are passionate about making the UK’s family homes better and Home-Start is dedicated to helping families by providing practical and emotional support in the home environment. That’s why we’re working together to help Home-Start support over 30,000 families in the UK who are experiencing difficult situations today. Dunelm cares deeply about the customers, colleagues and communities we serve and we have a long-established tradition of supporting good causes.”