Community Resilience

Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer has 21 stores across Northern Ireland; a footprint that touches every county. It employs 3,000 colleagues across the province and is proud to serve 650,000 customers on a weekly basis.

Background

It is committed to making Marks & Spencer a great place to work for its colleagues, to providing the best customer service on the high street, and to make a sustainable difference in local communities.

What Marks & Spencer did

Marks & Spencer understands that vibrant communities are essential for its success. Marks & Spencer has a long history of supporting its local communities. David Sieff, a member of the M&S founding family, once said: “healthy highstreets need healthy backstreets”.

Marks & Spencer is committed to listening to its stakeholders to help it understand social issues and decide what role it can play in helping to find solutions.

In Northern Ireland, M&S’s Leadership Team’s strategy to build stronger communities consists of encouraging colleagues to volunteer, fundraising for local charity partners, helping to shape a nation of lifesavers by facilitating CPR training for its own colleagues, as well as children in local schools, and providing employability opportunities for local young people through its ‘Make Your Mark’ programme.

Supporting Business in the Community’s Pride of Place strategy, M&S amplified its ‘Making Every Moment Special in the Community’ campaign in Northern Ireland – with an ambition target of 50 projects to celebrate 50 years of trading in Northern Ireland.

M&S is now in its eight year of a regional charity partnership with Action Cancer.

Impacts and Outcomes

  • 4,000 employee hours donated as part of ‘Making Every Moment Special in the Community’ campaign which saw employees undertake 50 projects of local charities in a two-week period – the project benefitted 15,000 people in Northern Ireland
  • £25,000 cash investment in ‘Making Every Moment Special in the Community’
  • £850,000 raised for Action Cancer during its eight-year partnership
  • £200,000 raised in the past 12 months for stores self-selected local charities
  • Currently training all colleagues in CPR and has fundraised £20,000 to enable 20 schools to purchase a CPR training pack
  • 8 tonnes of surplus food, equating to 32,000 meals through its Neighbourly Partnership Annually
  • M&S’s ‘Make Your Mark’ employability programme has supported 9,000 local young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to gain work experience – many have gone on to gain full-time employment

For more information, please email lynsey.x.beatty@marks-and-spencer.com