Staff and shoppers at Co-op stores in Weymouth and Portland have helped to raise almost 13,000 for local causes close to their hearts.

Every year, each convenience store which is part of Southern Co-op partners with a special local cause chosen by staff.

Workers then have a year to hold fundraising events in aid of the cause.

In 2019, 15 different causes were chosen including Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, Dorset County Hospital Charity, Julia's House, Life Education Wessex, The Bus Shelter Dorset and Weldmar Hospicecare.

Fundraisers for the charities were held by colleagues at 22 stores including Weston Road on Portland and Chickerell Road in Weymouth.

Jessica Hughes, Community Investment Manager at Southern Co-op said: "Each of our stores has a budget which they can donate to special projects but this total is separate. Every penny has been raised by colleagues and customers who want to help the store's current charity partner.

"A lot of the causes are really small and may simply need help letting people know what they do. Then others have been running for years supporting hundreds of residents in their time of need.

"We are so proud of our colleagues who work tirelessly to give back to these causes. Thank you."

After a year of awareness days, fundraisers and challenges, 16 of the Devon and Dorset stores are now in search of their next charity partner. Local causes are invited to apply to become a charity partner in 2020-21 as part of Southern Co-op's ‘Love Your Neighbourhood' programme.

The programme aims to create greener, safer, healthier or more inclusive neighbourhoods.

Amanda Gallagher, Corporate Partnerships Fundraiser for Children's Hospice South West, said: "The support we've had from Southern Co-op in 2019 was phenomenal. From sponsoring our Rainbow Run to the teams getting involved and volunteering at our shops, I really can't thank them enough for their enthusiasm and determination to make a difference.

"Their fundraising helps support our three hospices across the south west and will help to make sure that we can continue to be here whenever families need us."

The stores looking for nominations include the two listed above.

Causes are encouraged to contact their local store as soon as possible to request an application form. To find out more visit