The Midcounties Co-operative is close to reaching its £500,000 target for charity partners Teenage Cancer Trust after launching a Christmas fundraising drive across its food stores.

Chief executive Ben Reid kicked off the 12 Days of Christmas programme of festive bag packs, with employees also holding Christmas jumper days, cake sales and in-store customer competitions in the run up to Christmas.

The charity partnership, which began in 2013, is now just a few thousand pounds from its target following two years of fund-raising events.

All of the money raised will help Teenage Cancer Trust to build specialist units within NHS hospitals.

Reid said: “Like everybody in our Society, I’m passionate about our fundraising for Teenage Cancer Trust, and we wanted to mark the season of goodwill with a series of fun, festive events.

“It’s been a fantastic effort from our colleagues and customers over the past two years, who have really worked hard to support such an incredible cause. As we approach Christmas and the New Year, we’re hopeful that initiatives like this will play a huge role in helping us smash our target for the charity.”