The UK Gift Company Celebrates 150 Years with Charity Partnership

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The UK Gift Company is the webstore of Church's China, the UK's No. 1 destination for Collectables and Gifts. 2008 is a landmark year for this historic company as it sees the celebration of its 150th anniversary. As part of these celebrations, Church's have announced their partnership with The Willow Foundation, a charity dedicated to providing memorable 'days out' for young people with serious illnesses.

As Bob continued his presentation, it dawned on me that there was something we could do to help. With his charity so similarly named as our best selling range, surely here was an opportunity to good to miss.

The UK Gift Company today announces its association with the Willow Foundation. The charity was founded by former Scotland and Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson and his wife Megs. They set up the charity in 1999 in memory of their daughter, Anna, who died of cancer aged 31. The charity's name, Willow, originates from Bob's nickname and its objective is to give to others the same positive effect that 'special days' had on Anna and her family during her illness.

Stephen Church, Managing Director and fifth generation family member described the significance of the recent association between The UK Gift Company and The Willow Foundation. Stephen describes his first encounter with the charity. "I attended a fund-raising event held by Underwoods Commercial Agents at Holdenby House near Northampton. I knew nothing of The Willow Foundation, but as a youngster, I had been a fan of Bob Wilson and I thought it would be fun to meet him. Bob spoke briefly and amusingly about his career as a goalkeeper and a television sports reporter. He also related movingly the story of his daughter Anna's illness and treatment and of the joy and solace he and Megs had both found in setting up The Willow Foundation. A fact which took me completely by surprise is that, until the formation of the Willow Foundation, there wasn't a single UK Charity dedicated to the age group 16 - 40. There are plenty of wonderful children's charities and charities for the elderly but the 'middle sector' seemed to be totally ignored."

Stephen goes on to describe how, whilst listening to Bob, an idea began to germinate. The best selling range of The UK Gift Company is The Willow Tree Collection, an amazing range of figurines, angels and keepsake boxes, each representing a different sentiment. There are figurines for anniversaries, for birthdays, for new babies, for grandparents, for homecomings, for 'farewells' - for almost any life 'occasion' there is a Willow Tree figurine. Stephen Church continued, "As Bob continued his presentation, it dawned on me that there was something we could do to help. With his charity so similarly named as our best selling range, surely here was an opportunity to good to miss."

The result is The UK Gift Company Willow Week. For every purchase of a Willow Tree Figurine, The UK Gift Company will donate 10% of the value to the Willow Foundation. All 50,500 registered customers are being contacted via The Magpie, The UK Gift Company online magazine. "Fingers crossed for a really successful promotion," says Stephen Church. "I've visited the headquarters of The Willow Foundation. The people who there are wonderfully enthusiastic and do an amazing job. It's clear that the Special Days they organise, be it a trip on the Orient Express, a balloon flight or a family meal out, the impact they have is always memorable and positive, It's a great pleasure to be associated with such a great group working for such a great cause."

For additional information on The UK Gift Company, either visit http://www.TheUKGiftCompany.co.uk or call Stephen Church on 01604 637596. For information on The Willow Foundation, visit http://www.WillowFoundation.org or phone 01707 259777.

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