A LOCAL store spent a year raising money for a charity which supports children with special needs.

The Original Factory Shop in Romsey posted to their followers on Facebook in April to say: "We need your help!

"We are now going to be donating 1p to a local charity each time you swipe your club card in store. We will also be donating 5p from the purchase of each carrier bag we sell we are therefore asking for suggestions of which charity we can support . We would be grateful if you could forward your suggestions to us so that we can begin supporting a local charity in our community."

Customers responded to the call and the Romsey Opportunity Group were nominated with a clear majority of tags in the thread.

The Romsey opportunity Group are a registered charity who support families of children with special needs whether it is physical, emotional or sensory and they are also registered with Ofsted.

Referrals to the centre are usually made through a GP or other health professional and parents can either stay, have a coffee and a chat or leave the child with the vetted volunteers whilst the children explore and learn through play.

The Original Factory Shop's store manager Catherine Pitman said: "We’re really excited that we and our customers have helped to raise £238.70 for the Romsey opportunity group our chosen charity.

"What they do is invaluable for the local area we’d like to think that this effort will go some small way to supporting their work in the community."

Lyn Bird, family coordinator at Romsey Opportunity Group said: “We are so grateful to this community that we have been part of for 50 years. Our support to families with an under 5 who has complex needs is just as valuable now especially during this time of delays in assessments and treatment.

"We continue to provide free 1:1 sessions with volunteer play workers while parents and carers have a much needed break, build friendships and share information. It’s a fantastic group that relies on funding. Thank you to staff at TOFS for choosing us as your Charity of the Year and shoppers for using your loyalty card."