Historic naval heritage brings together Hampshire’s RNRMC & Southern Co-op

The Southern Co-op, who have a proud history of support for the naval community, have begun selling the famous HMS Queen Elizabeth ‘Carrier’ Bags in its Shanklin and Bembridge stores.

Founded on Portsea Island in 1873, the Co-operative was formed by dockyard workers who had transferred from Woolwich Docks in East London to Portsmouth Dockyard.

The Southern Co-op would become instrumental during the two World Wars by providing food for refugees and setting up a welfare fund for the families of employees who were serving – important work that today is undertaken by charities like the RNRMC.

The RNRMC’s world-famous ‘Carrier’ Bags were created to mark the historic arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth to Portsmouth. For every bag sold, 100% of the profits will help the charity to continue supporting sailors, marines and their families, through life.

The RNRMC’s hessian bags feature a stylish depiction of the 65,000 tonne aircraft carrier and have been sold on 5 continents. All proceeds from the sale will go to the RNRMC.

“We’re incredibly grateful that the Southern Co-op are now selling our iconic HMS Queen Elizabeth ‘Carrier’ Bags. As a business with a rich maritime history, the Co-op understand how important it is that we ensure the well-being of the naval community.

“I hope that customers of the Co-op will enjoy our stylish bags while shopping and know that their purchase is contributing to the well-being of our valued naval fleet.”

– Alasdair Akass, Director of Fundraising & Marketing at the RNRMC
The ‘Carrier’ Bags will be on sale in 15 Southern Co-op stores, including the Isle of Wight’s Shanklin and Bembridge stores.

“We are delighted to be selling these great bags in our Isle of Wight stores. Our society was founded by dockyard workers in Hampshire back in 1873, our head office is still based here along with many of our stores, so we really feel that there’s a strong link for us and our customers to the Royal Navy & Royal Marines.

We’re thrilled to be able to support this worthy charity in any way we can and we’re sure they will fly off the shelves!”

– Lauren Harris, Local Marketing and Insight Manager at Southern Co-op

Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity ‘Carrier’ Bags will be available from the following Co-op stores; Shanklin, Bembridge, Portsmouth The Hard, Eastney, Highland, Lee-on-Solent, Denmead, Wickham, Alresford, Odiham, Emsworth, Southbourne, Hayling, Freshwater and Mill Hill.

The ‘Carrier’ Bags can also be purchased online via www.rnrmc.org.uk

About The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity has been the principal charity of the Royal Navy for over ten years.

From life-changing grants during times of immediate need, to smaller deployment grants that aid morale and retention, the RNRMC helps to ensure that over 750,000 serving personnel, families and veterans receive the support they need.

For more information on the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, call 023 9387 15020 or visit www.rnrmc.org.uk

About Southern Co-op

Southern Co-op (southernco-op.co.uk) is a large, regional independent co-operative operating over 250 food and funeral branches across the south of England. Owned by its 157,000+ members, it has an annual turnover of over £430m and more than 4,000 colleagues.

Southern Co-op’s sustainable business approach underpins a commitment to providing a fair, fresh approach for all. This is manifested through fundraising for local charities, supporting environmental and community-owned organisations and working with local food producers.

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