Marks & Spencer Makes It Matter in East Belfast

As part of Make It Matter Day (1 June), Marks & Spencer has committed to support M&S colleagues in delivering one million hours of community volunteering by 2025, to help make a difference to the projects and initiatives that really matter in the communities it serves.

M&S has kickstarted the volunteering in East Belfast by helping out with a Business in the Community charity project at City of Belfast Boxing Academy to redecorate some of their classrooms.

The Academy not only produces boxers of the future but provides the people of East Belfast with the opportunity to reach their full potential in life.  Through boxing, and by offering a wide range of programmes to enhance and develop personal skills necessary for members to reach their personal goals and aspiration, the Club aims to encourage, promote and motivate individuals to actively take part within the Academy and the wider community.

Nationwide, employees in every M&S store will join their colleagues in East Belfast by helping to transform local projects that make a real difference. In total, over 50,000 colleagues will support more than 500 community projects across the breadth of the UK. Make it Matter is part of the recently launched M&S campaign ‘#SpenditWell’, which is about inspiring people to make every moment special by focusing on the experiences, people and things that really matter in life.

Graeme Kidd, M&S Project Co-ordinator said: “We were really excited to come together to support the City of Belfast Boxing Academy. Volunteering can make a profound difference to the communities in which we live, work and play – we believe that lots of the small actions from lots of people, can collectively have a huge impact. We had a wonderful time helping to deliver this project.”

Terry McCorran, City of Belfast Boxing Academy, said: “The Boxing Club uses boxing to get people through the doors and then we try to build people.  Boxing champions come second – people come first – helping them achieve the most they can out of life.

“With children, we always make sure they understand how important education is in life.  Being an Olympic gold medal winner or World Champion is great, but what do you do afterwards.  And even if you’re not going to be a top boxer you can be an inspiration in your local community and help make it better to live.”

Hilary Hanberry, Communities Manager, Business in the Community added: “We are delighted to support this initiative. The City of Belfast Boxing Club provides valuable support to young people and the local community in East Belfast, and it is great to see the Club receive much needed help that will improve the services it provides.

“The advantages of employee volunteering are two-fold, helping to boost the confidence of volunteers, whilst making a real and tangible difference in the community. I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone that took part in Make It Matter Day, and we look forward to working with M&S on other employee volunteering projects in the coming months.”

To get involved in the online conversation, follow @MarksandSpencer and #SpendItWell.