Store’s support for George’s first steps

High Street department store raises thousands for live-changing op.

A BARNSTAPLE department store held a day of fund-raising to help a young Braunton boy on his way towards a life-changing operation in America.

Efforts by staff at Banburys on Friday have pushed four-year-old George Palmer’s First Steps Appeal tantalisingly close to the total needed for specialist surgery that could give him the chance of walking unaided for the first time.

They raised �6,700 during a day of fun that spilled out onto the High Street.

Staff from every department selected a different fancy dress theme, including store directors, who dressed as country folk, and management, who came to work dressed as police officers.

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The cookware, china and menswear departments combined for a Mad Hatter’s tea party, jet-setting accessories girls prepared for take-off as air stewardesses, and cosmetics girls relived their schooldays as St Trinians. There was even some early Wimbledon tennis action in the lingerie department.

Meanwhile there was no hiding place for Banburys removals men, including Brian Jarvis, from Roundswell, who put on brave faces during a sponsored leg wax in the front window of the shop.

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Other events included cake sales, a raffle and car washes at the Banburys warehouse.

George’s mum Nicki, who works part-time in the cookware department, told the Gazette: “The whole day was just amazing – I cannot believe what the staff did for George.

“The effort in all their dressing up and the excitement and buzz in store was just something else.

“Not only was Barnstaple store involved, we had the furniture store, removals, warehouse and Tiverton store all doing something for George and dressing up.

“It was just astonishing. All I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart – I am so proud to be part of the Banburys family.

“I would also like to thank the Rotary Club in Braunton with the Vivian Moon Community Trust Fund for their amazing donation last week and also the Lions Club of South Molton for a their kind donation.

“Thanks also the Co-operative in Braunton for doing a ‘name the teddy bear’ on the day of the George event, which boosted the funds raised on the day.

“We are getting so close now – this will take us over �40,000 which in 12 weeks is just fantastic.”

To donate or find out more about the campaign, visit, visit the Facebook page, George’s First Steps or email mum Nicki direct at

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