The store chose to raise money for equipment for children with cystic fibrosis following the nomination by staff member Sheila Gidman whose grandson Logan has the condition.
Each year the store chooses a charity to support and the staff fundraising committee organises a range of activities and events to maximise the amount they raise.
Staff like to support local causes and were delighted to learn that the money raised will benefit young patients with cystic fibrosis currently being treated at the Countess as it will be used to buy equipment for use in the hospital as well as for use by the Countess community team which offers care and support to children at home.
The treatment team includes a consultant, a cystic fibrosis specialist nurse, a paediatric physio and a paediatric dietician.
Every child needs chest physical therapy and has to have a special angled posture frame (couch) to help with this. The couches are single patient use and not shared with other patients as part of stringent infection control guidelines.
Chest physical therapy is usually undertaken from one to four times a day. The couch allows the child to get in a better position for the chest drainage physio and whenever possible this treatment is provided for children in their own homes so they don’t feel they are spending a lot of time visiting hospital for treatment.
Head of fundraising Janet Ratcliffe, said: “This extremely generous donation from Marks and Spencer Chester will enable us to purchase several portable frames as well as some mechanical breathing devices which older children are shown how to use to undertake their own physio from the age of about four of five.”
Six-year-old Tilly Cansfield, from Boughton, who is a patient at the Countess, was delighted to be asked to be the ‘smiling face of M&S fundraising’ and was featured on all the collecting tins and buckets that were used throughout the year.
There are around 20 children with cystic fibrosis currently being treated at the Countess who are seen routinely in clinic every two months although these visits can be more frequent depending on the severity of their condition.
Lesley Woodhead, Countess corporate and fundraising events manager, said: “Marks and Spencer Chester were fantastic fundraisers for our charity, especially considering the busy year they have had with their store refurbishment.
“They undertook everything from bingo nights, cake sales, walks and runs as well collecting in store from their customers.
“On behalf of all the children and their parents I would like to extend a sincere thank you. This support really will help to improve their lives.”