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Ocado co-founder launches Japan relief appeal and pledges £20,000

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Jason Gissing the co-founder of Ocado has set up the Ocado Japan Appeal donation page on and is urging Ocado employees and customers, and UK businesses to raise funds for disaster-struck Japan. The address for donations is

Gissing, whose mother is Japanese, has pledged to match the first £20,000 in donations made to a Tokyo-based charity for disaster relief in the earthquake and tsunami-hit country.

An email was sent to Ocado’s 200,000 customers on Wednesday 16 March in which Gissing wrote: “Japan faces its worst crisis since 1945. You may find it a little incongruous for the co-founder of a grocery service to be speaking to you about a natural disaster occurring on the other side of the globe, and I apologise if that is the case. However, in the past week, I have spoken to many people who wish to provide support or help but do not know how to.”

According to a blog by a JustGiving representative on the organisation’s community website, £4,000 had been donated within five minutes of the email being sent. “Five minutes later, the total had reached £7,000. As I write this, a mere 15 minutes later, that number has doubled. Ocado will be matching the first £20,000. Little did they know they’d have to do it so fast.”

On 11 March Japan suffered a 9.0 magnitude earthquake which caused a tsunami to hit the north east coast of the country. There has been unprecedented destruction and a rising death toll. A week after the earthquake 16,000 people are dead or missing, according to the BBC. There is also widespread panic as emergency workers struggle to stabilise the quake-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

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