A cafe in Wrexham is raising funds to buy a special gift for an African community – a cow.
Barista Billy Paterson, who works at the Starbucks cafe in Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre, got into character to boost the fundraising effort.
Billy, 23, dressed up a special bovine fancy dress suit to help promote the team’s charity work.
The Starbucks crew are trying to raise £650 which means they can buy a cow for a family in Rwanda which could make all the difference in helping to lift people out of poverty.
He said: “Rwanda has experienced a really turbulent past, in fact it’s only 23 years ago that the Rwandan genocide occurred. That saw more than a million people lose their lives.
“We are working with a charity called Send a Cow which aims to help vulnerable communities in Rwanda.
“We have a target of raising £650 over the summer and already we are over the £130 mark which is excellent.
“I have been out busking in both Manchester, around Corporation and Market Streets, I say busking but it is just me dressed in my cow costume dancing to music.
“I have done the same in Eagles Meadow and can say Wrexham shoppers are far more generous than in Manchester. I’ll be doing some more sessions on Tuesdays in Eagles Meadow and we will have other fundraising ideas we will be trying during August and September too.”
He added: “We are determined to reach our target so we can send a cow to Rwanda; it will make a huge difference to the lives of a lot of people.
“Over the past 15 years the charity has supported more than 8,000 families which means the lives of more than 40,000 people have been improved. That’s amazing.
“Cows have a real significance in Rwandan culture and a gift of a cow is a mark of huge respect. Cows provide milk which is an important source of protein and income and their manure helps soil fertility and structure which in turn improves crop yields.
“To be honest, £650 isn’t a great deal of money to us but the cow it buys for a Rwandan family means it’s worth its weight in gold. We really need to push on with our fundraising now. We do have collection tins at the counter and, as ever, our customers are really supporting us.”
Starbucks manager Claire Edwards said: “Billy is quite happy to dress up in the cow costume we have and to help raise funds. He’s really determined, as we all are, to do our bit and raise the money we need so we can buy a cow.
“It will be quite an achievement to raise the money and it will be nice to think we will have bought a cow that will help support a Rwandan family. I’m sure the team will make it and we have so many generous customers who always support what we do.”
Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley said: “It’s a great cause and I wish the Starbucks team well. I’m sure they will achieve their goal, they usually do.
“It’s so important those who live in relatively rich countries, people like us, are prepared to support those less fortunate and I can’t think of a better way of helping.
“Thinking about it sending a cow is such a simple act yet will make such a vast difference to the lives of so many people. Well done to Billy Paterson and the team at Starbucks for their fundraising efforts.”
To find out more about the Send a Cow charity please visit www.sendacow.org