Press Release

M&S VOLUNTEERS BRING COMMUNITY TOGETHER

18 June 2018

This week (18-24 June) 5,000 M&S colleagues across the UK are taking part in a week-long volunteering drive – Marks In Action.

Throughout the week, M&S colleagues across the nation are committing over 40,000 hours to volunteering at 685 local projects that make a difference to the communities they serve. All projects are unified by a common goal - to bring people together. The teams will be helping to create special moments and places, from creating vibrant outdoor spaces to connecting local people who are affected by loneliness.

The teams have selected a diverse range of projects including:

  • M&S Merthyr Tydfil is embarking on a two-day project to revamp the communal areas in the Cancer Aid Merthyr Tydfil centre
  • M&S Rawtenstall is putting registration packs together for Rossendale Hospice’s Colour Dash
  • M&S’s LGBT+ network will be volunteering at George House Trust in Manchester putting together their new fundraising packs and helping them start to gather their materials for Manchester Pride.
  • M&S Pudsey will be making structures suitable for play at The Big Swing Adventure Playground in Eccleshill
  • M&S’s London office colleagues are volunteering with Smart Works steaming clothes and helping to sort out their stockroom.

Sarah Ford, Project Manager for Marks in Action said, “Volunteering makes a profound difference to communities, and we believe that lots of small actions from lots of people can have a lasting impact on society and help improve lives. Our research* also shows the benefits on the wellbeing and engagement of employees who take part. Last year 7,000 colleagues took part in Marks In Action and 90% said the experience had a positive impact on them. This week we’ll be out and about across the UK and really hoping to make a difference. To get involved with the conversation follow #MarksInAction on social media.”  

Alongside the community drive M&S remains committed to its community transformation programme at ten locations across the UK. As part of Plan A 2025 M&S is currently trialling a range of actions in the ten areas to help tackle the issues that matter most to communities – such as unemployment, skill shortages, loneliness, poverty, mental health and wellbeing.

Initiatives that are already taking place include fortnightly meet-ups for new mums in the M&S Café to enjoy a coffee and a chat, working in collaboration with the leading social network MUSH and ‘Tea and Company’ social groups (also in the M&S Café ) in partnership with Royal Voluntary Service.

M&S stores across the UK are connected to local initiatives by Neighbourly, the social network for social good. To get involved in the online conversation, follow @MarksandSpencer and #MarksInAction.

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Notes to Editors

*Out of the 7,000 M&S employees surveyed in 2017:

90% said the experience had a lot of a positive personal impact on them

78% said they felt more connected with their community and the needs within it

92% would highly recommended volunteering to friends and family

96% of them said that they felt employee volunteering was an essential employee benefit

About Plan A

Plan A is Marks & Spencer's ambitious, customer focused sustainability plan that aims to support 1,000 communities, help 10 million people live happier, healthier lives and convert M&S into a zero-waste business. The three-pillar plan is designed to tackle the big issues facing retailers, consumer businesses and society and spans wellbeing, transforming communities and caring for the planet. Find out more here - http://corporate.marksandspencer.com/plan-a

In 2017, M&S announced its new community commitments as part of Plan A 2025, which included supporting colleagues to deliver one million hours of volunteering time by 2025.