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M&S has a long history of supporting the NHS – from our longstanding charity partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital to our colleagues volunteering at St. Mary’s Hospital, which neighbours our Waterside Support Centre. It’s a cause that is understandably very dear to many of our colleagues’ hearts.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve received an overwhelming number of ideas from colleagues for how M&S can support NHS workers who are doing such an incredible job during these unprecedented times — some of which prompted the actions included in our press release today.

We spoke to two colleagues to find out more about what motivated them to share their suggestions.

Craig Corrin, Store Manager of our Carlisle store

Craig has worked at M&S for nine years and says the best thing about M&S is the sense of being part of one big family, working together and supporting each other. 

"I can’t imagine the level of pressure that everyone in the NHS is going through during this time — not just the workload but the weight of all our expectations. They really are our heroes!

"I feel incredibly proud to work for M&S, especially at this time. M&S has been a part of many elderly and vulnerable customers’ lives since they were children. To give these customers the security and peace of mind they need through these challenging times is something I am enormously proud of."

Hoping to further support the community his store serves, Craig wrote to our CEO Steve Rowe, via our colleague platform, Suggest to Steve, to ask for a way that colleagues could show their support for the NHS at an individual level.

"I can’t imagine the level of pressure that everyone in the NHS is going through during this time — not just the workload but the weight of all our expectations. They really are our heroes! I was discussing with my team the different ways we could show our support or make their jobs easier. I think it’s the least we can do."

Lynn Jackson, Customer Assistant in our Arnison Centre Durham store 

Lynn has worked for M&S since 2013 and just like Craig, she thinks the best thing about M&S is that everyone supports each other. 

"It’s like a family. Everyone works together – if you need support, they’re there."

This support and a sense of family extends beyond our colleagues and into our communities and the customers we serve. And it was our customers who sparked Lynn’s idea. 

"I see a lot of our customers on a regular basis. Unfortunately, due to this virus, I am not seeing as many and I started to wonder if they were okay. I want to support the NHS who could be helping my customers."

"I’ve been giving flowers to our NHS workers when they come and shop with us, but I’d like to do more. If we didn’t have the NHS, we’d be in trouble. They don’t just support us against COVID-19, they support us through our entire lives. They’re unsung heroes."

When asked how she feels about working for M&S in these challenging times, Lynn simply said:

"I feel so proud to say I work for M&S and that I’m a key worker, helping the cause."