M&S stores in Edinburgh have been raising funds for NHS Charities Together over the last few months and customers have raised over £121,000.

All money raised for NHS Charities Together goes towards helping local communities, and Edinburgh-based NHS charity, Edinburgh & Lothians Health Foundation, is one of a number of recipients of a recent donation. The Foundation has been working with NHS Lothian to help provide additional support for staff and patients during the Coronavirus pandemic, funding a number of wellbeing initiatives including 120 ‘Wellbeing Hubs in a Tub’ for community health teams. In May, Specialist Practitioner District Nurse Mhairi-Jane Ramage and her team received one of these ‘wellbeing hubs in a tub’ filled with treats and practical items such as hand cream, healthy snacks, relaxing face masks and packets of seeds.

Mhairi-Jane Ramage, 48, is a specialist practitioner district nurse in Midlothian, she said: “As community nurses, we visit
patients in their homes – we’re a ward without walls and build close relationships with patients and their families. When someone passes, we carry out a bereavement visit to see how the family is doing and give support. I remember going to see the wife of a patient who died in hospital. She hadn’t been able to visit her husband because of Covid-19 and broke down. I comforted and reassured her, but I felt helpless.

“After hard days like that you really appreciate having the ‘wellbeing hub in a tub’. Every item in the tub was so well considered: lavender face masks to ease anxiety and snack bars to pop in the car in case we miss lunch. I took home a packet of seeds and now I have three flourishing basil plants. After a hard day, pottering around and getting lost in wee tasks like growing herbs helps me relax and switch off.”

Jenny Mcpartlin, Store Manager at M&S Edinburgh, said: “NHS Lothian plays an essential role supporting the Edinburgh community and we can’t thank them enough for their incredible efforts over the past few months. We’re thrilled to share the donations raised so far at our store and from stores across Edinburgh and look forward to raising more funds this month with our customers’ support.”

M&S’s partnership with NHS Charities Together, has so far raised over £7.8m* across the UK for NHS good causes.

Donations from M&S have been raised through a number of initiatives, including the retailer’s Rainbow Sale (where 10% of each purchase, excluding VAT, is donated to NHS Charities Together), limited edition NHS Charities Together Bags for Life, M&S’s All in This Together T-shirts and through one-off donations at the till points. Throughout August, customers will continue to have the opportunity to donate to NHS Charities Together.

Edinburgh & Lothians Health Foundation was registered as a charity in 1992 and is the official charity partner of NHS Lothian. In 2019/20 it committed £5.98 million to supporting projects which support physical and mental health and wellbeing for both staff and patients across Edinburgh and the Lothians.

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.