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A few years ago, we launched our Sparks members programme to reward loyal customers and offer a more personalised shopping experience at M&S. With the customer being at the heart of everything we do, we were determined to go beyond offering incentives and rewards and empower our customers to make a real difference – we wanted their spending to have a positive social impact in areas they are passionate about. That’s why we chose 10 charity partners championing 10 different causes to be a part of our Sparks programme. When customers sign up to Sparks, they choose one charity to support, and with every customer donating as little as 1p to their chosen charity each time they use their Sparks card, collectively it has created real impact and we have raised over £5 million for these causes in less than four years! 

The charity partners we chose to work alongside are championing causes that range from breast cancer and supplying people with clean water, to planting more trees and marine conservation work. Our goal was to support a variety of causes, each being reputable and openly revealing how our money helped to make a difference.

Here’s how our customers have helped some of our wonderful Sparks charities:

Macmillan Cancer Support – We have raised over £2 million through Sparks, enough to fund over 42 Macmillan professionals for a year, including nurses, occupational therapists and dietitians, who provide essential physical, financial and emotional support to the 2.5 million people living with cancer in the UK today.

Breast Cancer Now – The UK’s largest breast cancer charity, where our money helps fund life-saving research into the prevention of breast cancer.

Woodland Trust – Our customers’ Sparks swipes have helped to raise money for the Woodland Trust to plant and protect woodland across the UK.

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity – Our Sparks charity initiative has contributed to the hospital’s most urgent needs from funding ground-breaking medical research and state-of-the-art equipment, to support services for children and their families, and the vital rebuilding and refurbishment of the hospital.

WWF – We’ve helped to ensure that UK seas are full of life by championing sustainable fish consumption and recording and cleaning beach litter, and campaigning to reduce single-use plastic.

Oxfam – Through Sparks, we’ve supported Oxfam to help fight against the injustice of poverty around the world.

Marine Conservation Society – Our customers have contributed to ensuring UK seas are full of life by championing sustainable fish consumption and recording and cleaning beach litter, and campaigning to reduce single-use plastic.

Shelter – We’ve helped Shelter support people struggling with poor housing and homelessness.

The Royal British Legion – We’ve helped fund Admiral Nurses to support the carers of people living with dementia in the Armed Forces community.

Unicef – Our customers have supported Unicef to provide early childhood development programmes for children in emergencies.

The charities we are partnered with work every day to improve the world we live in, and we are so grateful to our Sparks customers who have helped make a positive impact on each one of them. Raising £5 million through the simple act of scanning a loyalty card is an achievement to be proud of, and we look forward to reaching many more milestones with our customers, raising money for the causes we all care so much about.