Co-op stores from across North Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire have pulled out all the stops to raise over £10,000 for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice – in just eight months.

From a summer fayre to scaling Britain’s highest mountain, staff from 20 shops across the region have dug deep to raise as much money as possible to support local families at Bluebell Wood.

It started around eight months ago when a 20-strong Co-op team of volunteers rolled up their sleeves to help landscape one of the hospice’s car parks, which was in desperate need of a bit of TLC.

Dave Tomlinson, Co-op’s Area Charity Champion, said: “It was certainly a day of hard graft but we had great fun and it was a fantastic sense of achievement at the end of it.”

From there they held a big Summer Fayre in Sutton-in-Ashfield alongside several other fundraising events across the region.

Six adventurous colleagues then took on the famed Scottish peak – Ben Nevis.

Dave Tomlinson was joined by Adam Smith, Matt Chambers, Jane Atkins, Nicola Clarke and Tracy Brewster for the epic challenge.

“We all trained very hard in preparation, including many gym sessions and climbing other peaks such as Kinder Scout and Mount Snowdon,” said Dave.

“None of us had done anything on that scale before so it was a real challenge, not to mention being up against hail stones, howling gales and freezing cold conditions. But I’m delighted to say we safely made it to the summit.

“Our stores were rooting for us every step of the way and we raised a fantastic sum in the process thanks to everyone’s generosity.

“It’s been a fantastic eight months and I’m incredibly proud of everyone for all they’ve achieved for such an amazing local charity that really does change people’s lives.”

The grand total of the stores’ combined efforts was £10,679, which was gratefully received by Bluebell Wood earlier this month.

Dave Hall, Corporate Fundraiser at Bluebell Wood, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to each and every store and colleague that have gone above and beyond to raise such an incredible sum.

“It costs £4.8 million each year to keep our doors open so it really does make a huge difference to the children and families who rely on our support.”

The Co-op stores involved in the fundraising drive were Whitwell, Killamarsh, Laughton, Cresswell, Tibshelf, Stantonhill, Alreton Road ,Edwinstowe, Pinxton, Huthwaite, Rainworth, South Normanton, Forest Town, Warsop, Clipstone, Southwell Road, Farnsfield, Ordsall, Retford and Tuxford.