British Independent Retail Association (BIRA) Community Awards 2015

At the recent BIRA Conference our Trustee Alan Wolstencroft, the owner of Fashion Fabrics in Banbury, was awarded the Charitable Champion Award, at the Gala Dinner, for his outstanding work in Sierra Leone.

Delegates were informed that during the past year, although Alan had not visited Sierra Leone because of the e-bola crisis, he had continued fundraising for the development at 3 schools that he supports including providing subsistence allowances for the teaching staff.

Alan had undertaken 36 speaking engagements raising £14,350 of a total of £33,600 raised during the year. Since his first involvement in Sierra Leone, 10 years ago, Alan has delivered 290 talks raising a total of £63,400 of a total of £124,100 for his Sierra Leone projects.

Alan was presented with a certificate, a plaque and a bottle of champagne and a cheque for £1,000 towards his ongoing projects.

Alan acknowledged the support that he receives from his family, his staff, customers and suppliers, BIRA members, Westminster Group PLC, Goodwill & Growth for Africa UK Banbury Rotary Club and dozens of organisations and hundreds of individuals.

Alan explained that he is returning to Sierra Leone at the start of June and some of the money may well be used to pay school fees (£10 per term) for children whose families cannot afford to pay the fees due to the increased cost of living caused by the e-bola situation.

Alan explained that every £ goes directly to the projects and that the money will help him to continue to “make a real difference” in Sierra Leone.


Alan Wolstencroft Award
Alan receives his award from Neil Robinson, Group Accounts Sales Manager, Toolbank (award sponsors) and Tony Hawks, the Awards compere who is a TV and radio comedian
Alan Wolstencroft Award speech
Alan delivering his thank you speech