SUPERMARKET staff have raised bags of money for a North East women’s refuge.

The refuge, in Darlington, was chosen as the charity of the year by staff at the town’s Sainsbury’s supermarket.

Collections have been held in store and fundraising activities including a sponsored walk helped to raise a total of £1,753.

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Marie Steward, of Sainsbury’s, explained the reasons why staff wanted to support the refuge.

She said: “People were very touched with the fact that they don’t get any direct funding yet they provide such an important service for some very vulnerable people.

“It is an issue that covers all generations; domestic violence can touch anybody.”

As well as donating money, the refuge has also benefited from supermarket initiatives such as Sport Relief, when branded clothes and drinks bottles were donated to the charity.

Three new charities have now been shortlisted for the Sainsbury’s charity of the year 2014 and the chosen one will be announced in early July.