Marks & Spencer Makes It Matter in North 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 North Belfast by helping local charity The Wave Trauma Centre to develop a pond area in their Garden of Hope which, when complete, will form the centrepiece of the memorial garden.  Maintenance of the wider garden area will also take place in preparation for a community memorial event later this month.

Wave Trauma is a grass roots, cross community, voluntary organisation formed in 1991 to support people bereaved of a spouse as a result of violence in Northern Ireland.

Nationwide, employees in every M&S store will join their colleagues in North 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.

Ryan Lemon, M&S Head of Region for Northern Ireland said: “We were really excited to come together to support Wave Trauma. 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.”

Alan McBride from Wave Trauma Centre said: “We are delighted to be involved with Business in the Community and the Making Every Moment Special Initiative. WAVE is a grass roots cross community organisation, providing a range of support services, to individuals, families and communities that have suffered loss or injury as a result of the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland.  The Initiative will bring together around 20 managers from M&S and WAVE volunteers to build a pond in the WAVE Garden of Hope.  The pond will take centre stage in the garden, providing a quiet place for contemplation and reflection.

“The Making Every Moment Special initiative is a fantastic idea that links companies with community and voluntary organisations.  The day will be a great opportunity for WAVE volunteers and M&S staff to complete a piece of work that will be a great asset to WAVE in the future.”

Hilary Hanberry, Communities Manager, Business in the Community added: “We are thrilled to support Mark & Spencer’s Making Every Moment Special Initiative. The advantages of employee volunteering are two-fold, helping to boost the confidence of volunteers, whilst making a real and tangible difference to local community organisations such as The Wave Trauma Centre.

“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.