Shoppers at local co-operative branches across the area have donated thousands of pounds worth of vouchers rather than spend them in store.
The funding has been donated to NHS Charities Together, an independent NHS charity which supports a network of 240 NHS charities. Together, they provide the extra help needed in hospitals, health boards, and ambulance, community, and mental health trusts across the UK.
A total of £30,615 was donated from Southern Co-op's 2020 Share of the Profits which were distributed to members earlier this year. The funding came from donated vouchers and members automatically donating their odd pence.
As a regional, independent co-operative, Southern Co-op members are part owners and part of a business that puts purpose before profit.
Ellie Orton OBE, Chief Executive at NHS Charities Together, said: "We are incredibly grateful for this generous donation from Southern Co-op. The NHS is facing its most difficult winter ever, and ongoing help is needed as it seeks to recover from Covid-19. But thanks to our amazing supporters and fundraisers we can continue to be there for staff and patients, and help the NHS go further for everyone."
The donation has gone towards NHS Charities Together Be There for Them campaign to help those affected by COVID-19.
To date, NHS Charities Together has allocated £140million in a range of projects supporting NHS charities, staff, patients and volunteers. These include counselling services, helplines, and intensive psychological support for NHS staff, plus patient focused initiatives like training for emergency responders, research into long COVID, and specialist equipment.
Gemma Lacey, Director Sustainability and Communications at Southern Co-op, said: "We're really proud that Southern Co-op's members have provided much needed support for causes that positively benefit our local communities.
"Our NHS workers have been there for us throughout the pandemic while also dealing with the backlog of patients desperately needing treatment - all of this is on top of trying to look after their own wellbeing. A massive thank you to every one of our NHS workers for continually being there for us."