The Southern Co-op, who have a proud history of support for the naval community, has begun selling the famous HMS Queen Elizabeth ‘Carrier’ Bags created by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC).

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 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 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 is now selling our iconic HMS Queen Elizabeth ‘Carrier’ Bags. As a business with a rich maritime history, the Co-op understands 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 Portsmouth’s seafront location at The Hard, Hayling Island and Lee on Solent.

“We are delighted to be selling these great bags in our Portsmouth stores. Our society was founded by dockyard workers in Portsmouth 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; Portsmouth The Hard, Eastney, Highland, Lee-on-Solent, Denmead, Wickham, Alresford, Odiham, Emsworth, Southbourne, Hayling, Freshwater, Mill Hill, Shanklin and Bembridge.

The ‘Carrier’ Bags can also be purchased on the RNRMC website