With more than 200 convenience and retail stores across the south of England, the independent co-operative has joined a national partnership of well-known brands raising money to support the NHS by selling gifts that give a little back this Christmas.
This nationwide initiative is also being supported by other local co-operatives including Central England Co-op, East of England Co-op, Heart of England Co-operative, Lakes and Dales Co-operative, Midcounties Co-operative and Scotmid Co-operative.
From this week, customers will be able to buy a festive bouquet from The Co-operative Food stores run by Southern Co-op with £1 from each sale to be donated to the national campaign. The retailer is aiming to raise £10,000 to help support NHS staff and volunteers.
Gemma Lacey, Director for Sustainability & Communications at Southern Co-op, said: “Southern Co-op’s members and customers, along with those from other regional co-operatives across the country, have been incredible at supporting local causes and making a difference, more so than ever throughout this pandemic.
“All our key workers, including our own colleagues, have worked tirelessly throughout to make sure people have vital access to essential services.
“This campaign shows our support and gratitude for our NHS workers and will provide much needed funds as they brace themselves for a difficult winter. A massive thank you to everyone who has kept us going in 2020.”
The national campaign, led by NHS Charities Together, is encouraging people across the UK to ‘give to those who’ve given us everything’ by buying presents for each other that support the NHS.
On a normal year, it’s estimated that 400,000 NHS staff and volunteers will work over Christmas and this year it’s likely to be far more. The money raised from this campaign will go towards the organisation’s mission to provide vital funds which support NHS workers.
Ellie Orton, CEO of NHS Charities Together, said: “Hundreds of thousands of NHS staff will be working over Christmas and New Year. They do it every year but this time they’re also having to deal with probably the biggest challenge our health service has ever faced.
“I’m thrilled and so grateful that we have been able to partner with these brands to do something about that and show how much the UK cares about those NHS staff and volunteers and the patients they are looking after.”
Stores stocking the festive bouquets are spread across in Berkshire, Bristol, Devon, Dorset, East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, London, Somerset, Surrey, West Sussex and Wiltshire. To find your nearest Southern Co-op store, visit https://stores.thesouthernco-operative.co.uk/search.html.
In July 2020, NHS Charities Together gave £50,000 towards a long-term wellbeing scheme for University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW). The charity Above & Beyond has worked closely with the two trusts to develop a long-term wellbeing scheme, including psychological, physical and healthy lifestyle initiatives over and above what the NHS can offer.