What a year it’s been for Grantham’s M&S store

Tina Dingley, of Grantham Hospice, and M&S store manager Dean Law with staff.
Tina Dingley, of Grantham Hospice, and M&S store manager Dean Law with staff.
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Thursday (November 26) will be the first anniversary of M&S’s return to Grantham, the end of a prosperous year for the Simply Food store.

According to store manager Dean Law, the store has far exceeded its first-year targets, thanks to the return of customers lost when Marks & Spencer closed down its long-established store in High Street back in 2010.

To know that local businesses are supporting the hospice in the way that Dean and his staff have is absolutely brilliant.

Hospice corporate fund-raiser Tina Dingley

And these same customers have helped tremendously towards raising money for its chosen charity of the year, St Barnabas Grantham Hospice.

Earlier in the year, staff members were asked to nominate a local charity for the store to support. The hospice was chosen and fund-raising began, taking the form of cake bakes, sponsored walks and a sponsored bike ride to the Newark store.

St Barnabas corporate fund-raiser Tina Dingley said: “To know that local businesses are supporting the hospice in the way that Dean and his staff have is absolutely brilliant. We’re so grateful to be the store’s charity of the year.”

Staff have gone the extra mile by volunteering at the hospice’s charity shop and at coffee mornings held at the Barrowby Road facility.

Dean said: “We hope to do more of that after Christmas. The experience has really given them an insight into the hospice and they’ve come back and shared their experiences with staff in store. They’ve enjoyed it.

“On the volunteerings days, they’ve come back and spoken very enthusiastically about what they’ve been doing.”

Since April, M&S has raised £1,662 for the hospice, with many more fund-raisers to come before the year is up.

** To celebrate the store’s first birthday, staff are going out to dinner together, in addition to a party atmosphere in-store, said Dean.

Meanwhile, tastings days will be put on for customers on Thursday-Saturday next week.

** Hospice volunteers will be bag-packing in-store between December 16 and 22, and further volunteers are being sought. If you can help, call Tina on 01476 513542 or email tina.dingley@stbarnabashospice.co.uk