SunSkips has teamed up with Bury St Edmunds RUFC to lend a hand with the club’s tree planting fundraiser.
The campaign is the club’s new strategy to raise funds for the training ground and tackle the club’s flooding issues at the same time (the trees absorb some of the groundwater).
An astonishing 220 trees were planted – 20 more than they had intended – at £20 each or three for £50.
The East Anglia skip hire company was more than happy to chip in to sponsor three trees. SunSkips general manager and huge rugby fan Tim Reinman popped down to meet club chairman Craig Germeney (pictured) to see the project for himself.
Craig, 41, was keen to do something that helped the fans and the community feel like a part of the team.
He said, “All the trees were snapped up in just a couple of days. We’ve actually got some more on order.
“The idea was that it’s good for the environment, they’ll soak up some of the flooding the ground is prone to, and it raises money for the club all at once. What’s not to love about the idea?
“It’s also nice for people to have something on the club’s premises with a name plaque to build a bit of community spirit.”
SunSkips welcomed the opportunity to get more involved at the grounds after sponsoring the club with a board last year.
In recent years, raising much-needed funds hasn’t been easy for BSE RUFC, what with the pandemic keeping supporters indoors and charitable donations being needed elsewhere.
But while times have been tough, it hasn’t stopped Craig and the team from getting actively involved in the community wherever they can.
Craig said, “It’s been challenging, but we’re back to where we were and looking at different ways we can offer value to supporters, not just asking for handouts.”
The club has a community rugby team that goes out to schools in half term to help kids that don’t usually have the chance to play – even offering free meals to those that need it.
Craig got into rugby through his children, Monty and Delilah, who started playing at six years old, leading him to a new pastime coaching the under-16s team.
“I just loved seeing the kids develop,” he said. “I’m actually still the chairman of the Minis team. I love doing it and there are loads of good people here, both players and parents.”
On top of getting more young people into rugby, Craig is also keen to break gender biases by encouraging more women and girls to get involved, an initiative that’s also close to our hearts at SunSkips.
The club has made moves to give the female team (the Bury Foxes) more exposure by moving their last home game to a Saturday.
Craig added, “It’s always something I’ve been passionate about. There’s a massive gap between the amount of male and female players, and if we want to do something about it, we’ve got to start making the change ourselves.”
SunSkips is always looking for ways to get involved in the local community, from supporting local sports clubs to charities and youth initiatives.