Over the last decade, Alf Turner Butchers has raised more than a quarter-of-a-million pounds for Help for Heroes through donations from on-trade sales of its pork scratchings.
However, with rising costs and inflation, the firm’s owner, Paul Turner has urged pubs to support the brand by fundraising in “unique” ways to create a “lasting legacy and raise even more money” for the charity, which supports veterans and their families.
Turner said: “We are talking about [sales of] pork scratchings, but it’s got a much deeper meaning.
“The people in the forces that are being helped, they need support for life, because no one's growing back limbs, and no one gets over PTSD.
“We've got some unique opportunities with Help for Heroes. The more we can donate, the more work [can be done].”
Additionally, the business owner pledged to back pubs that stock the charity focused products by sharing social media posts to showcase fundraising efforts and promotions, adding the butcher's has thousands of followers looking to visit pubs supporting Help for Heroes.
“The return to pubs just by stocking a product they currently sell anyway is we can actively try and drive customers into those venues”, Turner added.
Help for Heroes’ corporate partnerships account manager Helena Burley explained the charity’s income had seen a 56% decline since British Forces withdrew from Afghanistan, but the need for its support had increased by 50%, especially as the cost-of-living crisis continues.
In addition, the account manager stated hospitality businesses were “ideal partners” for Help for Heroes and by assisting this campaign, the sector can support an “important community”.
She continued: “The hospitality sector is notoriously generous in support of those in need, especially when it comes to our veterans.
“Pubs are a valuable source of fundraising and sponsored events as they are the perfect place to meet up with like-minded people and can help raise awareness of our work and services by allowing materials, such as posters and leaflets, to be displayed in the venue and on the bar.
“They can support Help for Heroes to raise much needed funds in a fun, relaxed environment; their customers will get the chance to engage socially with others and meet new friends, while providing venues with additional sales revenue at quiz nights and pub games.
“If firms would prefer not to handle too much cash, they could round up the pennies on the customer’s bill or ask for a percentage donation all via their till payment system.
“Breweries can also offer additional support by donating a percentage of beverages, meals, or snacks."
Alf Turner Butcher's stated it sold 1.26m bags of pork scratchings via wholesaler Booker last year and has committed to donating a minimum of £20,000 per year to the charity, but further support from the hospitality sector would help the business develop its charitable aid for Help for Heroes.
“If I can sell 2m bags of pork scratchings, I can give Help for Heroes £40,000 a year. My overriding goal is to be able to give the charity £100,000 a year”, Turner added.
By reaching this goal, the business, which has also received support from Dragons Den’s Peter Jones and actor Ross Kemp for its charity work, could look to sponsor disabled athletes, raising awareness for Help for Heroes with a view to one day supporting a veteran to achieve Paralympic status.
Turner continued: “I can have a seriously bad day at work, but no one's tried to shoot me, it's never put my life in danger.
“Some of these people wouldn’t have survived before Help for Heroes, but because of the money and time and medical advances, they're continuing to survive and have a nice, reasonable lifestyle.
“One person in particular was the first triple amputee and another veteran recently climbed Mount Kilimanjaro after losing both legs.”
Burley added the “magnificent” funds already raised by Alf Turner had supported veterans and their families across the UK struggling with painful injuries, mental trauma, loneliness, isolation, sleepless nights, disability, inaccessible homes, and poverty.
“Initiatives like this raise awareness among those employed in the hospitality sector and their consumers.
“It is also an opportunity to understand more about the valuable work of Help for Heroes and show the plight of wounded, sick and injured veterans is as relevant today as it was during conflict.
“We are committed to being by their side, providing life-changing support for as long as it takes”, she continued.
Turner added the butcher's had participated in a variety of events to help raise awareness, including sending a scotch egg into space and talking about the importance of socialising and looking after mental health with British Invictus Games athlete Rachel Williams.
Alf Turner also claimed to have the “fastest Scotch egg in the world”, having put one in a McLaren race car at 175mph.
Moreover, the butcher's are looking to send pork scratchings to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in deep sea submersibles as well as taking a scotch egg for a trip in a supersonic jet with the RAF to help raise awareness of the charity’s important work.
Turner said: “The biggest thing for me is giving something back. When you see the veterans, how inspiring they are and the incredible things they do, it’s unreal.
“If we can get to the £100,000 a year mark then we can make a serious impact. Not only changing some lives but saving lives.”