Yorkshire-based Thomas the Baker has donated £11,000 to Kidney Research UK after a year of fundraising.

The firm, which has been raising money for its ‘charity of the year’ for the past 10 years, has reached a donation milestone of £100,000.

With 30 stores across Yorkshire and the north east, it combined the money raised with funds from the sale of carrier bags.

In the past, the company has donated a total of more than £100,000 to charities including the Alzheimer’s Society, Marie Curie, British Heart Foundation, Help for Heroes, Macmillan Cancer Support, Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Three million people in the UK have kidney disease and one million sufferers are unaware that they have it, according to Kidney Research UK. There is no known cure.

This most recent donation was presented at the charity’s Peterborough headquarters by Chris Chapman, quality assurance manager at Thomas the Baker. Chapman received a kidney transplant in 2009 and, with the help of his wife June, spent several hours with the team finding out more about the work funded by donations.

In 2003, 43-year-old Chapman attended a routine health check, which revealed that he had kidney disease. In 2009, after spending three years on dialysis, he was called for a transplant, which was a success, despite a challenging recovery. He discovered that the disease led to the death of his father when he was seven.

Chapman met the staff at the charity in December, some of whom suffered from the same kidney disease as him – Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease.

“It was a pleasure to be able to go and take this cheque to Kidney Research UK, and obviously it’s something I feel very grateful to have the opportunity to do as a recipient of a kidney transplant 10 years ago. It was fantastic to find out more about the work they do, including current projects they’re working on with the University of Sheffield,” said Chapman.

“Apart from the hospital visits, the regular blood tests and the tablets, life is now as normal as it could be. However, the average life for a transplanted kidney is 10-15 years, and mine is now 10 years old. So, it’s vital to me and to millions of others that the research and development continues.”

The staff and customers at Thomas the Baker are to thank for raising £11,000 last year, said Richard Phillips, corporate partnerships manager at Kidney Research UK.

“This will go a very long way toward funding life-saving research. Chris has had a personal journey with kidney disease and he has long thought we would make a great charity of the year partner with Thomas the Baker – we’re so glad it paid off,” said Phillips.

Kidney Research UK relies on donations to fund breakthroughs in diagnosis, treatment and patient care for those affected by kidney disease.