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Retail assistant Kimberley Aplin’s voluntary fundraising activities have been recognised with a special award from her Sodexo Defence client.

Special award for Kimberley

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In late 2017, retail assistant Kimberley Aplin’s voluntary fundraising activities have been recognised with a special award from her Sodexo Defence client.

Kimberley was honoured by the Surgeon General at the Defence Medical Services’ Whittington Barracks at Lichfield, Staffordshire, after her efforts were noted by a customer. Over the past five years, Kimberley has raised £15,000 for a variety of good causes through different fundraising initiatives she has organised.

A special ceremony at DMS Whittington saw Kimberley, watched by her family, line manager Dawn Warden and services manager Andy MacPherson, receive the Surgeon General’s commendation for outstanding contribution to fundraising. “I am the first contractor to receive one,” she said. “I am very proud but also quite humble about it.”

Her bug for fundraising began when she was a food service assistant for Sodexo at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where Sodexo is responsible for a restaurant for staff and visitors, three smaller café units, hospitality and patient dining. “I worked in the café at the main entrance to the hospital and when I met the children and their parents it inspired me. I wanted to do something,” she explained.

After beginning with a cancer charity appeal, Kimberley went on to be involved as a volunteer for the hospital’s Radio Lollipop, as well as helping to raise funds. In 2015, she won a prestigious Food Service Catey award for Healthy Eating Champion for health promotional initiatives she undertook at the hospital, such as creating eye catching posters, interactive games and unusual straplines to capture people’s imagination. They included such things as ‘Play Your Carbs Right’.

Since moving to DMS Whittington, Kimberley has raised money for Stop Hunger and raised funds through things like lucky dip Christmas crackers and ‘Guess the number of coffee beans in a cup’. She works shifts in each of the outlets Sodexo operates at Whittington – Costa, Costcutter and bars.  “One of my regular customers in Costa is a colonel,” she explained. “One day, he asked me about my charity work and on another occasion he asked a few more questions and then nominated me for a commendation.”

This October, Kimberley also won Star Award Charity Champion of the Year for the Defence segment. Kimberley’s voluntary efforts have now led to a paid part-time fundraising role with St Giles Hospice, based in her home town of Walsall.


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