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Shoppers offer token of support to canal campaign

Melksham shoppers have been thanked for supporting the restoration of a former waterway.

The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust was one of the latest beneficiaries of the Waitrose Community Matters scheme which offers £1,000 to local charities each month.

Shoppers at the Bath Road store receive a token at the checkout and then choose which of three good causes they want to support. The Canal Trust received £650 from one of the recent collections. The cheque was presented to Brian De’ath of the Melksham, Chippenham & Calne branch by Waitrose branch manager Chris Smith.

Brian said, “We are sincerely grateful for this generous donation from Waitrose and its customers.

“The impressive sum is yet another sign that the restoration campaign is attracting growing support from the local community and more people are aware of what we’re trying to achieve.

“The money will be used to support the Melksham Food & River Festival over the weekend of 5th-6th September, allowing the creation of a temporary landing stage for the Canal Trust to run boat trips throughout the event.”

Chris said, “Each month we donate £1,000 between three local good causes chosen by our customers.

“They receive a green token at the checkout which they can place in the box of the good cause they’d most like to support – the more tokens a cause gets, the bigger donation they receive. We hope the money given to the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust will help the restoration campaign and we look forward to the day when narrowboats might be mooring near our store.”

The aim of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust is to restore the waterway from the Kennet & Avon Canal near Melksham to the Thames & Severn Canal near Cricklade and the River Thames near Abingdon, linking Chippenham, Calne, Royal Wootton Bassett and Swindon.

Visit www.melkshamwaterway.org.uk