Zoe Driver – Macclesfield Store

Zoe's mum was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in November 2016. Since then Zoe has supported her mum and helped to raise over £3k so far for Cancer Research UK by completing 2 pretty muddy race for life, holding 2 Easter egg and cake sales at her school, helped to put on a summer ball for 70 people and is about to do a cycle ride from London to Paris in August this year.

All this whilst studying in 6th form and looking after her little sisters whilst her mum has gone through radical treatment and chemo therapy. Zoe is only just 18 and is a very inspiring role model to her family and friends.

Mike Whittaker – Shoreham store

Since 2007 Mike has raised £50k for an orphanage in Malawi. The orphanage supports children who have lost their parents through Aids and the children all have HIV themselves. Most of the children are related with the exception 'Tupo' who was found abandoned in a cardboard box when she was just a few days old.

The money that Mike has raised pays for the retroviral drugs and the children's education. One of the girls represented Malawi University Students at a World Student gathering in Glasgow in 2016. She now has a job, is married and has a family of her own.

The orphanage currently has two others at University, and the younger children are all very aware that education is their way out of poverty. 

Most recently Mike raised £1,000 at his annual 'Posh Garden Tea Party‘ which M&S have supported for the past 3 years and will hopefully continue to do so. He never broadcasts the work he does, doesn't ask his colleague for continual sponsorship; the money he raises is through his sheer hard work and selfless commitment to ensure these children have the best start in life that he can provide.

Mary Derwin, John Ross Reilly, Louise Adams – Dublin Mary Street store

What the Mary Street team have achieved in the last year for Inner City Helping the Homeless in Dublin, is really extraordinary. Homelessness is a huge problem in Ireland and families losing their homes is very topical.

Starting with MEMS the team raised €15k through various events they organized. This €15k allowed ICHH to buy a bigger van allowing them to help people outside the greater Dublin area.  

With the support of their HOR, the team worked with the Head Office Menswear team to send excess thermals to the ICHH in Dublin. When one of the worst snow storms in years hit ICHH used these thermals to help people from freezing.

When the store had to close for 36 hrs they invited ICHH to take food that was going over. ICHH thanked the store on social media and this prompted all the local supermarkets to also offer food. This helped hundreds of people and had a hugely positive impact on the store with the community, government, councils, state funded charities.

Anthony Flynn received the ‘European Citizen of the Year’ award from the European Parliament and Ann, a key volunteer, was presented with ‘Irish citizen of the year’ from The Lord Mayor of Dublin. Members of the store team have gone out at night to volunteer with ICHH. The charity has had a real impact on our teams.

Jerome Browne – Falmouth store

Jerome’s passion for supporting his local community and doing charitable work goes without fanfare and certainly without seeking recognition. His current focus has been shaped by a family tragedy. His 11 year old nephew died from Sudden Unexpected Death from Epilepsy in 2011. Jerome’s family have raised £75,000 through events such as skydives, charity runs, coastal walks, Masquerade Ball, cake bakes and sponsored silence. Jerome keeps his support for “SUDEP” a very private commitment, but in addition to his work for SUDEP he actively leads charitable efforts on the region, recently organising a Macmillan golf day raising £1200. 

Jerome has led a challenging closure programme in Falmouth with the store due to close in February. However for MEMSIC he was determined that colleagues were supported to leave a legacy in Falmouth. They supported STARBOARD, a charity that provides sailing adventures for children who have had a tough time. Jerome would be the last person who would wish to be nominated, for me that’s the very reason why he should be.

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