STAFF and customers at a Leek supermarket have raised more than £15,000 for local charities and organisations across the Staffordshire Moorlands during the last year.
During their first year in the town Sainsbury's has welcomed many groups including Scouts and schools for bag packing, collection and activities at their Churnet Works store..
At a presentation event last week store staff also announced that they had raised £2,396.37 for their charity of the year, Moorlands Home Link, which supports many elderly people across the district.
Store Manager Julie Hatton said: "As we head towards our nomination for our new charity of the year we have been celebrating our first year in Leek.
"Our customers and colleagues have helped us raise over £15,000, which has been given back to projects, but also importantly we have raised £2,396.37 for our charity of the year, Moorlands Home Link.
"Our colleagues have really enjoyed working with the charity and it's certainly touched the hearts of many of them that before didn't necessary have a direct link to them.
"We know what an important part they play in the community and we hope the year-long partnership has helped remind our customers of the valuable service they provide in Leek and the Staffordshire Moorlands. We are now looking forward for a number of new projects and our recent community event in store has helped us to forge even more links to open new avenues in the community."
Last week colleagues from the store met the charity members at a coffee morning to celebrate the successful partnership. Befriending co-ordinator of Home Link, Diane Sellers, said: "For a big retailer like Sainsbury's to confirm a year's partnership with us was just incredible news. I remember getting the phone-call and having a big grin on my face.
"We had our first meeting shortly after and we worked up some great ideas that we hoped would create great feedback with the store's customers and colleagues. We've raised a fantastic amount which we're using to support our befriending schemes, and we're now looking forward to working with Sainsbury's on future opportunities."
Throughout the last 12 months, Home Link volunteers joined colleagues at the store to raise funds and awareness of the charity's cause.
These included bag packs, coffee mornings, activities for children, book sales and a cake sale, which have all helped raise funds to support Moorlands Home Link's Phone Link and volunteer visiting schemes.
Meanwhile, the store continues to donate flowers to the organisation.
Customers now have the chance to vote for a local charity to be Sainsbury's Leek new Local Charity Partner.
Voting takes place from May 28 to June 8, while customers can also vote online from May 28 by going to www.sainsburys.co.uk/localcharity.