MELKSHAM Motor Spares has raised a massive £17,500 in funds for Cancer Research UK and 14 other local charities to mark the firm’s 50th anniversary.

The company, which was established in 1968, is one of the South West’s largest independent motor factors.

Finance director Alison Cook said: “We were very proud to have reached our 50th year and wanted to honour the memory of our founders, Bryan and Mary Mattock, who both sadly passed away in 2013 from cancer.

“We felt fundraising for Cancer Research UK would be a fitting tribute, in our 50th year, to their lifetime’s work and dedication, which built the foundations of our success.

“We also had several staff members diagnosed with cancer in 2017, which was been a timely reminder of how cancer touches so many of our lives.”

“Survival rates are increasing and progress is being made, so hopefully our fundraising will have gone a little way to helping with this ongoing research.”

The largest amount of £5,800 was raised from a trade show charity raffle at Melksham Town FC’s stadium on June 14.

The raffle’s grand total was then increased to £7,500 by a further donation from the company.

Cancer Research UK was given £10,500 and 14 other charities shared the remaining £7,000, each getting £500.

The 15 charities were: Cancer Research UK, Julia’s House Children’s Hospice, Wiltshire Air Ambulance, Wiltshire Mind, Dorothy House Hospice, Alzheimer’s Society, Sane, Sands, British Heart Foundation, MS Society, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Ben Automotive Charity, Diabetes UK, JDRF and HemiHelp.

In addition to this, a year-long campaign of fundraising events for Cancer Research UK by staff, plus a generous personal donation from the directors, raised a further £10,000.

Events included employee’s individual efforts such as running the Lacock half marathon and the Color Obstacle Rush run, as well as group fundraisers such as a 50-mile sponsored cycle ride, charity cycling event at Castle Combe Race Circuit, ‘Football shirt Friday’ a ‘no swearing day’, charity walk, quiz night and their annual Christmas Jumper Day.

Phil Dodd, Managing Director said “We had very much hoped to replicate the previous success of our fundraising efforts during 2018, to have exceeded them by such a large amount is just fantastic.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have an amazing team of staff, brilliant customers and suppliers who support us and embraced our efforts again, we cannot thank them all enough.

“It was important to us as a company to be able to ‘give something back’ and we are very proud to have achieved so much during our anniversary year and raised such a substantial amount for so many worthy causes.”