Retail group Nisa-Today's is hoping to become a significant force within local communities in 2009, by making even more money for its 'Making A Difference Locally' charity fund.

Retailers have managed to generate more than £1m for local charities and good causes since the scheme started in May 2008.

A number of key new suppliers are on board for the 2009 campaign, and all existing suppliers have agreed to continue lending their support.

"By working closely with suppliers, retailers, and local people, we are determined to make as much and if not more for charity this year," Nisa Today's managing director Neil Turton told Convenience Store.

"Independent retailers are best placed to run campaigns such as 'Making A Difference Locally' because they know what their community needs are, and can be a much more responsive than the multiples," he added.

Among recent awards, independent retailer Andrew Dike, of Dike & Son of Stalbridge in Dorset donated £2,500 to Julia's House - a Dorset hospice dedicated to children with life-limiting conditions.