New Orpington builders merchant brings community joy

A new builders merchant has officially opened in Orpington – and brought with it a £4,000 boost to the local community.

As part of its ongoing expansion around the UK, Selco Builders Warehouse has cut the ribbon on its 68th branch which is based on Cray Avenue.

To mark the opening, Selco has made £1,000 donations to The Chris Aked Foundation and Orpington Eagles Football Club, as well as pledging a further £2,000 to its nominated charity Global’s Make Some Noise.

The 2018 world darts champion Rob Cross was also in branch to take on customers and colleagues in special challenges.

Mat Brice, branch manager at Selco Orpington, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to further strengthen our presence in Kent and the south east with the opening of this branch which will serve tradespeople of the local area.

“Supporting charities and community groups in the local areas in which we operate is an integral part of the Selco ethos so we are delighted to mark the opening of our new branch with a £4,000 donation. We hope the funding will make a real difference to very worthy causes.”

The Chris Aked Foundation was set up nearly two years ago to offer children and their families counselling and memory making days from the moment a parent or sibling is diagnosed with a serious illness.

The charity – which was launched by Chris’ wife Kirsty after he was diagnosed with bowel cancer and died in September 2017 – won the Selco Stars competition to award one local charity £1,000.

Kirsty, who lives in Orpington and is the founder and a trustee of the Foundation, said: “Our daughter Freya was very young when Chris was ill and we found it exceptionally difficult to provide her with the support needed at the time the treatment was going on.

“As part of Chris’ legacy, we decided to set up the charity to support children from the point of diagnosis, whether that be through counselling, arranging for them to participate in sports and other activities and memory-making days.

“We’re currently supporting around 25 children in Orpington and the rest of Kent and south east London but we have ambitions to grow that and the Selco donation will make a huge difference.”

Orpington Eagles, who play in division three of the Woolwich & Eltham Sunday Football Alliance, have been granted £1,000 worth of building materials to help renovate the clubhouse at their home pitch of the St Mary Cray Recreation Ground.

Lee Thraves, team manager, said: “The clubhouse needs some urgent repairs doing and we have the manpower and labour to carry out the work. The funding Selco is providing is a massive boost for us and the local community because three other teams – Orpington Athletic, Boro Lane and New Cross Rovers – all play their home games there.”

Selco will also make a £2,000 donation to its new charity partner Global’s Make Some Noise, which helps small projects that support disadvantaged children, young people and their families who are living with illness, disability or lack of opportunity.

More than 100 people turned out to take on Rob ‘Voltage’ Cross in the darts challenges, in which visitors had to score more points with nine darts than the pro could with six. Those who were successful went home with tickets to final of the Unibet Premier League later in the year.

With hundreds of trade brands always in stock and open seven days and for a minimum of 80 hours per week, Selco’s branches are firmly focused on helping tradespeople complete their jobs as quickly and effectively as possible.

As well as offering trade services and a café in branch, Selco also has a strong digital presence including Click & Deliver, a 30-minute Click & Collect service and a new website designed to help tradespeople purchase their materials in the quickest and most effective way possible.

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