CHARITABLE shoppers at an Ellesmere Port supermarket have helped raise more than £20,000 for the NHS ahead of its birthday celebrations on July 5.

Colleagues and customers at M&S Cheshire Oaks will be taking part in the one-off Clap for Carers on Sunday to mark the 72nd birthday of the NHS, supported by the founder of the initiative and NHS England boss Sir Simon Stevens.

Ahead of the weekend, the team has installed a new display to share with customers just how generous the local community has been during this unprecedented time.

The in-store display shows how much M&S Cheshire Oaks customers have donated through a range of activity including shopping M&S’s Rainbow sale (where 10 per cent of each purchase is donated to NHS Charities Together), buying the limited edition NHS Charities Together Bag for Life in the M&S Cheshire Oaks Foodhall, purchasing M&S’s All in This Together T-shirts and making one-off donations at the till points.

This fundraising total is already £20,727.

Customers can continue to get involved in lots of ways including selecting NHS Charities Together as their Sparks charity (M&S’s loyalty scheme) meaning M&S donates on their behalf every time they shop in any store or online.

Store manager Neil Parnell and his team will be updating the accumulator each Monday.

Neil said: “The past few months have been challenging for all of us, but one thing that’s been amazing is seeing people rally together.

"We’re very proud that our community has already helped raise £20,727 for a really important cause that will provide vital support to NHS staff, volunteers, and patients.

"Clothes shopping is different now and as customers are coming back and starting to shop with confidence it’s really lovely that the first thing they’ll see when they enter our store is a display that shows the generosity and kindness of the local community.”

Ellie Orton, CEO of NHS Charities Together, said: “I can’t thank M&S customers enough, the money you have raised is making a huge difference for the NHS staff and volunteers who have been there for all of us during the Covid crisis.

"I’d urge all of you to come together with friends, family and neighbours for a moment of thanks on July 5, so we can show appreciation for everyone who has been there for others over the last few challenging months.”