Christmas jumpers drive funds for SMA Trust UK - 8848

Christmas jumpers drive funds for SMA Trust UK

Staff at one of East Anglia’s leading family run businesses donned their Christmas jumpers to help raise funds for Spinal Muscular Atrophy Trust (SMA).

More than 400 employees at the Marriott Motor Group ditched their suits and overalls for some festive knitwear and raised £1,000 for the SMA Trust, which supports research into the rare disease that causes muscle weakness and progressive loss of movement and is the leading genetic cause of death for infants.

The automotive company which operates 15 sites in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, King’s Lynn and Stowmarket, covering six brands, held its own version of the annual Christmas Jumper Day on 18th December to support a charity close to the heart of the company’s managing director, Paul Barnard.

Paul’s two-year-old son was diagnosed with SMA Type 2 when he was just 12 months old.

He said: “As a family we see and live with the condition on a daily basis and because of the support we have received as a family we, as a company, wanted to help fundraise for the charity to help them to find a treatment and cure for the condition.

“I was delighted that so many staff at our Volkswagen, Audi, Renault, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Dacia, Skoda and Trade Part Services sites embraced the festive spirit.

“Everyone was so generous with their donation. I am both grateful and touched by everyone’s support.”

The Marriott Motor Group was founded in 1909 by Paul’s great grandfather from the Barnards site in Stowmarket, which remains home to its first Volkswagen dealership.

Barnards Volkswagen in Stowmarket is undergoing a major refurbishment to reflect Volkswagen’s corporate identity. The works will include improving its facilities to feature a new look digital showroom and a larger vehicle display area to help strengthen its customer experience. The business will remain open during this transformation.

For further information on the Marriott Motor Group and its dealerships across East Anglia and for more information on the SMA Trust visit