STAFF at a Colchester shop are hoping to raise thousands of pounds for the air ambulance.

Wilko, in St John’s Walk, have launched a new charity partnership with the Essex Air Ambulance which will last for a year.

In the last 12 months, the store raised £2,116 in support of the East Anglia Children’s Hospice.

Tony Hawes, store manager, said: “We had a wonderful year supporting [the hospice] and we hope the grand total raised by all the stores in the region made a real difference.

“As a community-focused company, we’re always keen to help as many worthy causes in our local area as we can, and we chose Essex Air Ambulance to be our new charity of the year as a team.”

He added: “We can’t wait to get going with our fundraising – there’s plenty of ideas in the pipeline and we hope our loyal customers in Colchester will support them and see us on our way to another amazing total over the next 12 months.”

Sabi Blyth, senior fundraising coordinator at Essex Air Ambulance, added: “We’re thrilled to have the Wilko team on board as a key fundraiser and we’re so happy they chose us as their charity of the year.

“We’re so grateful for all the support the team will be giving us over the coming year and we’re looking forward to developing a wonderful partnership.”