More than 140 Nisa-Today's and Costcutter retailers have supported good causes in their neighbourhoods through the Making a Difference Locally (MADL) scheme, which has raised more than £1m for local and national charities in its first year.

The stores raised money through the sale of products whereby, in agreement with the supplier, a proportion of the price is put into a virtual bank account and can then be donated to local charities recommended by customers.

Nisa-Today's managing director of trading and distribution John Sharpe said: "MADL has been really well received over the past year, not only by our members and suppliers but by the consumer.

"Local retailers traditionally are very proactive in supporting local charities, and we are extremely pleased with the efforts that our members have put into making the scheme a success. Their dedication to local communities has proven that it will continue its success throughout the coming year."