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St Andrews Hospice representatives were presented with a cheque for £2,000 today at SPAR 1-4 Russellcolt Street, Coatbridge.

The money has been raised by SPAR’s Airdrie & Coatbridge Stores, through the sale of carrier bags. The initiative, which has seen over a staggering £180,000 being raised for local charities since its launch in 2008, donates the 2p charge from every ‘single use’ carrier bag sold.

Every 2p is collected and donated to a locally nominated charity, benefitting not only the local area in which SPAR serves, but also positively impacting on the environment. Such is the case that SPAR has reduced its carrier bag usage by over 40% since the launch of the scheme.

St Andrew's Hospice provides specialist palliative care services - the total care of patients with progressive disease and limited prognosis - and is open to all. It is Lanarkshire's only Specialist Hospice and provides multidisciplinary support for patients, their families, and carers.

All services are provided free of charge to the patient. The annual running costs are approximately £4.2million of which nearly £2.2million has to Over the years, the Hospice has grown to support the needs of the community by looking ahead to innovative changes and future patient and family requirements be raised each year from public donations, this is approximately £44,000 per week.

SPAR’S Coatbridge Store Manager Anne Garry, has dealt personally with St Andrews Hospice in the care of her late mother-in-law and describes the work that the staff do as exceptional. She explains that many people in the local area have had a connection to the Hospice, suggesting that it is very dear to the local people and so the carrier bag fundraising initiative was very well supported within the SPAR Store.