Spar wholesaler and retailer James Hall & Co has donated £250,000 to the Royal Preston Hospital in Lancashire.

The donation will be spent on building a new relaxation and recuperation centre for NHS staff at the hospital, allowing them to unwind and catch up on sleep.

The facilities will include refurbished male and female showers, cubicles and lockers; sleep “pods” for staff who have been working long shifts and are too tired to drive home safely; indoor relaxation area complete with sofas, yoga mats and tea and coffee making facilities; a refurbished breast feeding room and an outdoor patio area.

James Hall ‘s Distribution Centre is located just a few miles from the Royal Preston Hospital and therefore the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals trust is very special to local customers and many families working with the company, the wholesaler said.

Speaking on behalf of the Hall family, Andrew Hall said:

“As a longstanding local business, we wanted to make a donation which would have a positive impact on NHS staff morale and provide a legacy for the community which would reach far beyond COVID-19.”

Karen Partington, chief executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, added:

“We are extremely grateful that our generous donor, James Hall and Company, has agreed to back this particular project which is important to us as it was the brainchild of one of our own clinicians. We know that high quality facilities like these will make a huge difference to staff and help improve their physical and mental well-being, which in turn helps them to provide the best possible patient care. We also know that this kind of investment in our estate encourages the recruitment and retention of staff, which is more important than ever before.”

James Hall & Co company serves over 600 Spar stores in the North of England, including a network of independent Spar retailers and 150 company-owned stores.