A staggering £25,000 has been raised by Marks & Spencer destination store at Cheshire Oaks for its chosen charity of the year.

The iconic store, which is regularly used as a training venue for new dogs and puppies, chose Guide Dogs after seeing first-hand the benefits to local customers.

Employees and customers have immersed themselves into raising funds throughout the year for the charity.

The store’s team of caretakers took part in a sponsored challenge which saw them sitting in a pool filled with cold rice pudding while male employees took part in sponsored leg waxes and beard shaving.

Other fundraising efforts included a 10K run and a fashion show at West Cheshire College, as well as traditional events such as bag packs, cake sales and tombolas.

The store’s ‘Plan A Champion’, Shena Holland said: “The team has really got behind the charity and supported it with a range of fundraising events throughout the year which has led to us raising such a significant amount of money for a worthy cause.

“We are delighted to be able to give something back to the region and have really enjoyed getting involved with the charity and meeting the many dogs, volunteers and guide dog owners and learning about how Guide Dogs have changed their lives.”

In addition to raising the cash, the team has named five guide dog puppies Bobby, Cheshire, Spencer, Oake and Betty, who may well be used by some of the customers who regularly visit the store with their guide dog.

“The team at M&S will now be able to follow the journey of their puppies from birth through puppy walking and into training where they will learn their life-changing trade,” said the company.