M&S store raises £16,000 for hospice

Employees and customers at M&S Simply Food in Berwick have raised a staggering £16,000 for HospiceCare North Northumberland.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 16 May, 2016, 10:54
M&S Berwick-upon-Tweed staff celebrate with HospiceCare.

A number of in-store fundraising events have been held to help raise such a phenomenal amount during the two year partnership.

These included a performance from the Longridge Towers Junior School choir, live guitar music and singing, and a sponsored stationary bike challenge.

Each year, M&S stores around the country select one local charity to support, hosting fundraising events with customers and employees.

HospiceCare, which receives the majority of its funding from charitable donations, has to find £400,000 each year to provide its existing services.

The store’s charity champion co-coordinator, James Macleod, has played a key role in leading the store’s charity efforts for the hospice over the last few years.

Iain Childs, store manager at M&S Berwick-upon-Tweed, said: “HospiceCare offers invaluable services throughout the community and it’s a cause very close to the heart of the local community.

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“Our customers and employees have helped to raise a phenomenal amount over the last two years and they should all be very proud of their efforts. A special thanks also goes to our store’s charity co-ordinator, James Macleod. He has been instrumental in supporting staff with their fundraising efforts and has ensured everyone has had lots of fun along the way!

“We’ve really enjoyed working with the hospice. We wish the team the very best for the future and hope the funds we have raised will help them continue their great work.”

Employees from the store will have the opportunity to continue their support for the hospice via M&S’s ‘staff volunteering days’, which sees employees across the country given the opportunity to support charitable causes during working hours for a day each year.

The Hospice is the main provider of palliative care in North Northumberland, delivering care and support to adults living with life limiting illnesses such as cancer, motor neurone disease and multiple sclerosis as well as their families and carers.

Sue Gilbertson, HospiceCare Clinical Manager, added: “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of customers and colleagues at M&S Berwick. It will make such a fantastic difference, particularly now more than ever as we see an increased demand for our Hospice at Home service.

“The funds raised will go a long way towards helping us to deliver over 550 hours ‘Hospice at Home’, allowing us to be with patients and families day or night in our local communities.”

Demand for the charity’s Hospice at Home service is growing rapidly. Last year alone saw a 97% increase in new referrals. As an independent charity, the hospice replies on the support of the local community. It costs just over £1,000 per day to keep the doors of the hospice open and to provide an invaluable service to the local community.