Schoolwear manufacturer Rowlinson Knitwear has announced that Millie’s Trust, a first aid training and education charity, will be its key nominated charity until 2019.

The announcement follows a survey in which the Stockport-based, employee-owned company asked its employees to choose the charity they would most like to support; the result was a unanimous vote for Millie’s Trust. Rowlinson’s support includes an annual donation, raising awareness of the charity’s causes, fundraising activities and 30 days of employee time annually for voluntary work.

Millie’s Trust was founded by Joanne and Dan Thompson in memory of their baby daughter, Millie, who died as a result of a choking incident at her nursery in October 2012. The charity delivers affordable first aid training courses across the north-west and nationally. It provides free places to expectant parents, parents with infants under 12 months and those facing financial hardship. The charity has been instrumental in the introduction of Millie’s Mark, a voluntary accreditation awarded as a special endorsement to nurseries in England that go above and beyond the Early Years Foundation Stage guidelines by having all of their staff trained in paediatric first aid.

Since 2015, Rowlinson has been providing Millie’s Trust with branded garments for their first aid training staff. In 2016, the company held a Halloween fancy dress event to raise money for the charity, and a number of staff also attended Millie’s Ball, the charity’s annual gala dinner, where just over £10,000 was raised.

“Living our values is very important to us and traditionally we have supported many local charities without great fanfare,” said Rowlinson’s managing director, Donald Moore. “Despite facing a deeply personal tragedy, Joanne and Dan’s motivation to be a force for good inspired us and we felt we wanted to give them a bigger commitment and help raise awareness of their amazing work. All our people have the opportunity to get involved with fundraising activities and we are excited to have a team of 10 runners for the Great Manchester Run 10K in May.

“In addition, the 30 days of voluntary work means we can provide professional advice, marketing support and even complete practical tasks for Millie’s Trust, so that they can focus on delivering first aid training that could save lives.”

Joanne Thompson, CEO of Millie’s Trust, commented: “As we draw closer to our fifth anniversary, we’re delighted to have the ongoing support and commitment of the Rowlinson team. It is vital that more families gain the life-saving skills and knowledge that we provide, so they have the confidence to act quickly and competently in an emergency situation. Rowlinson’s pledge to support Millie’s Trust enables us to help more families with the critically important first aid training we offer. We are looking forward to working with them much more in 2017 and beyond.”