Supermarket ‘champion’ clocks up thousands for charity - in spite of battling coronavirus
- Credit: Archant
A north Norfolk supermarket worker has helped raise thousands for needy and vulnerable people during the pandemic, in spite of battling a bout of coronavirus.
Since taking on the role of community champion at Morrisons, Cromer, in 2013, Simon Clipsom, 51, has helped support charities and good causes ranging from Cromer’s carnival and Christmas lights, to local Scouts, Guides and and church groups.
However, eight months ago, he had to put his charity efforts on hold after being struck by the virus, which left him unable to eat and struggling to breathe normally.
“My symptoms started in March, two weeks after I had recovered from flu,” Mr Clipsom explained. “It developed into pleurisy two weeks later, then I ended up with post viral fatigue syndrome.”
Although forced to spend five weeks in bed and three months off work, the devoted dad and grandfather continued his charity work, making calls and sending emails from his Cromer home.
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“I am glad I pulled through at home and didn’t have to burden the NHS,” he said.
As a result of Mr Clipsom’s efforts, and those of Morrisons shoppers and colleague Kelli Harman, who stepped in to organise the distribution of donated food while he was off work, the store raised more than £5,000 in October alone.
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Since returning to work, Mr Clipsom has also organised a collection for the annual Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, co-ordinated a ‘pick up and pay’ scheme asking customers to buy a pre-packed parcel of food for needy folk with their regular shopping, and joined a team delivering groceries to vulnerable customers,
“I am proud to say that since I started as community champion, our store and customers have raised over £427,000 for mainly local, but also national charities,” he said.
Although still struggling with the after effects of coronavirus, Mr Clipsom is determined to continue to his charity work and has set himself a target of raising £500,000 by next year.
“I have had a difficult time, but I am very thankful to have survived,” he said. “I am glad to be back at work and, although I still suffer from exhaustion most days, I’m determined to keep helping our local community.”