Choose Love as Bedford business bucks Black Friday


One independent Bedford business is bucking the Black Friday trend this week and buying gifts, rather than selling them.

Gemma Crawley-Roberts, the owner of The Arc, is partnering with the charity Choose Love and spending this week buying ‘gifts’ for refugees.

Choose Love has raised millions to support displaced and vulnerable communities around the world and they run an initiative that allows you to shop directly for refugees.

They have an online shop in which customers can choose from a number of products like a hot meal, nappies, medical care, search and rescue and a safe place to sleep. The shop has something for all budgets from just £5 and the gifts themselves go direct to the people who really need them.

Gemma is encouraging her customers to do the same if they’re able to, and for everyone who tags The Arc on social media in a photo of what they’ve bought, she will send a discount code for 25% off everything on the website.

“I have two small children and last year they got so many gifts it was just too much,” explained Gemma.

“I used the Christmas money they got to buy things for refugee children on the Choose Love store and loved it so much.

“This year I was really grappling with Black Friday week, I couldn’t quite feel good about it so I decided to turn it around and make gifting really count.

“We will buy a gift every day this week for a refugee and post it on our social platforms and if you do too and share that with us we’ll send you our Black Friday discount code of 25%.

“We also understand that not everyone can afford to do charity this year so if that’s the case just let us know and we’ll send you the discount code too.”

Choose Love founder, Josie Naughton, said they were grateful to businesses like The Arc, encouraging their customers to purchase meaningful gifts.

“Despite the challenges of opening a physical store during coronavirus pandemic, we’re really proud to still be offering people the chance to buy meaningful gifts for their loved ones this holiday season,” she told the Bedford Independent.

“At Choose Love, we’re pleased to say we have received a $150,000 match fund from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which will launch on Black Friday. This means that donations to the Choose Love Store will go the extra mile towards helping refugees.

“Refugee camps are facing their first year of winter with Covid-19, meaning resources and services are stretched even further.”

Due to current lockdown restrictions, The Arc is closed, however they are offering click and collect or delivery on products on its website.

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