STAFF at M&S Merry Hill have donated £13,000 to the cancer unit at Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley in memory of a colleague.

The money raised by M&S colleagues was presented to the Dudley Group NHS Charity and it will go to support the Georgina Ward which specialises in treating cancer patients.

Staff at the store wanted to raise the money for the unit where colleague Kath Smith, who worked at M&S Bakery for over 30 years, was a patient before her sad death from cancer.

Tom Hawthorne, store manager at M&S Merry Hill, said: “I am so proud of my team for banding together to raise vital money for such an incredible charity.

“This is a charity that is close to so many hearts at the store and we had an overwhelming response from staff nominating here as our chosen charity.

“We are looking forward to continuing to a partnership with the Dudley Group NHS Charity raising even more funds to support the Georgina Ward and the great work that they do.”

Diane Wake, chief executive for The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, thanked the team for the donation, which was handed over on September 19, and said: “The donations raised from this partnership will have a huge impact by enabling us to help patients in the Georgina Ward with those extra comforts that go above and beyond what the NHS can provide.”

The money raised will help to upgrade the relatives’ room on the Georgina Ward which is to be given a makeover by the M&S team.

The donation also marks the start of an ongoing partnership between the store and the charity over the next year. M&S colleagues hope to raise a further £10,000 by the end of the year to go towards a specialist equipment for the ward.