Hartlepool M&S store gives its backing to air ambulance

Peter Moody from Great North Air Ambulance is served afternoon tea in Marks & Spencer by staff Jill Gibson, Kathryn Reid and Linda Taylor , where he was presented with �500.
Peter Moody from Great North Air Ambulance is served afternoon tea in Marks & Spencer by staff Jill Gibson, Kathryn Reid and Linda Taylor , where he was presented with �500.

A Hartlepool outlet is set to provide much-needed funds to a charity which saves lives.

The M&S Foodhall, which opened its doors in June at the Anchor Retail Park, has announced its store charity of the year.

Our teams operate 365 days a year, and on board our aircraft are specialist trauma doctors and paramedics, who bring accident and emergency expertise to the scene. Running costs can be high so knowing we have the support of M&S is brilliant

Grahame Pickering

And it is the Great North Air Ambulance Service, which provides critical medical response services to the North-East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria.

Employees and customers have raised over £300 so far for the charity, which was chosen through a staff vote.

Store manager Jill Gibson said: “We wanted all 75 of our staff to have a say in selecting the charity.

“Each store across the country supports a local cause throughout the year, and we wanted to choose an organisation that was both a little different and close to the hearts of our customers and employees.

“We shortlisted three charities following staff nominations and after the votes were counted the Great North Air Ambulance Service came out on top.

“We’ve got some exciting fundraising ideas for the future and can’t wait to put these into action to raise as much as we can for such a worthy cause.”

The store has already been raising money with customer activities including a raffle, a ‘guess the sweeties in the jar’ competition, and hosting a bake sale.

As its charity of the year, all proceeds from store fundraising activity will be donated directly to the service, which operates three helicopters and last year flew 869 missions.

Grahame Pickering, chief Executive at the Great North Air Ambulance Service, said: “We couldn’t be more pleased to have the support of M&S this year.

“We are looking forward to hearing about the exciting activities they have planned in the future.

“Our teams operate 365 days a year, and on board our aircraft are specialist trauma doctors and paramedics, who bring accident and emergency expertise to the scene.

“Running costs can be high so knowing we have the support of M&S is brilliant.”

The M&S Foodhall, which includes a 50-seater café, provides shoppers with more than 4,500 food and drink lines.