Our customers and colleagues have told us that their local community matters to them, the place where they live and work. Our goal is to help transform 1000 communities, starting with 10 across the UK. Working with local organisations we will create programmes that aim to secure meaningful economic, social and environmental benefits in the communities around our stores. We aim to build on these insights rolling out to another 100 and the sharing the learnings with 1000 locations by 2025. You can follow our progress here.
We provide our employees with one day's paid time off for volunteering, matching funds for fundraising groups (of five or more), offer payroll giving facilities and run employee volunteer awards. Our target is to support our colleagues into 1 million hours of volunteering time between 2017 and 2025. In 2017 we delivered 700 projects up and down the UK supporting local organisations chosen by our stores. Activities ranged from spending time with the elderly, renovating communal gardens to painting community centres.
The 'In Touch with your Community' framework is used by every store to make an annual pledge to enhance lives in its local area. It covers five elements:
Every time a customer shops with an M&S Sparks Card, M&S donates 1p to a charity of their choice. To date, collectively over £3 million has been donated to 10 charities to help the causes they support.
We have a goal to raise £25m by 2025 for charities supporting people who are affected by either cancer, heart disease, mental health, loneliness or dementia.
As a diverse retail business, no single charity partner can help us address pressing issues in society. We do however aim to work with fewer charities than in the past and build more effective strategic partnerships with those that address the needs that our employees and customers care about.
We ask leadership teams in our business units to decide what they want to achieve with customers and what they can offer potential charity partners in terms of money, specialist skills, awareness raising or space in our stores. Through the strategic partnerships they forge, we can address the concerns that resonate with customers and employees.