Pickersgill-Kaye’s workforce is being urged to eat Smarties, but the encouragement to feast on the popular sugar-coated chocolate confectionery is all in a good cause to help fundraising efforts by the lock manufacturer, a trading division of ASSA ABLOY Limited the global leader in door opening solutions, in support of the local Samaritans.

Samaritans’ Leeds branch is one of the regional charities of the year chosen by the ASSA ABLOY Group, following a vote by staff at Pickersgill-Kaye, which is fitting as Gerry Murphy, engineering manager, has been a Samaritans volunteer for the past ten years. Samaritans will benefit from various activities being planned at the company’s renovated centre of excellence for the rail industry to raise much-need cash for the charity throughout 2018.

In addition to the Smarties Challenge, where employees help themselves to a tube of the confectionery, eat the sweets and bring back the tube full of 20ps, staff are also being asked to donate any foreign and old coins that might be burning holes in their pockets. An Easter Egg Hamper raffle has just taken place as well as collection points set up on the site for good quality clothes and bric-a-brac.

Samaritans, which provides emotional support to anyone in distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide throughout the UK and Ireland, through its telephone, email and SMS helplines, receives no public funding and is reliant on public donations.

Listening volunteer and national lead for fundraising, Bob Howe, stressed how important it is to Samaritans to have the backing of local businesses like Pickersgill-Kaye to help raise money and public awareness of the services provided, as well as a way to appeal for more volunteers.

He said: “We have an increasing demand on our services so if we can encourage companies like Pickersgill-Kaye to get involved that’s perfect. We recently did a presentation to their staff and were delighted with the positive response we received, we’ve already had enquiries from people interested in coming to our information evening.”

If you are interested in becoming a listening or support volunteer for Samaritans you can make an initial enquiry through the charity’s national website and your local branch will make contact with you.