The unprecedented impact of COVID-19 in towns and cities across the UK has brought about unprecedented action and support from many businesses in the communities they operate in and serve. M&S, a Business in the Community member, have shown we are all in this together by stepping in to help communities and staff.
COVID-19: Our members taking responsible business action
“Our guiding value is that we’re all in this together. Our M&S family doing our very best to help every family that we can”
Steve Rowe, Chief Executive of M&S
Community fund kickstart
M&S have kickstarted the ‘Neighbourly Community Fund’ specifically to support those most impacted by COVID-19. The whole M&S family – including M&S Bank and M&S Energy – is supporting the fund, which will help mobilise more than 1000 local charities to support the most vulnerable members of our communities immediately. Alongside this local on-the-ground funding M&S is supporting the National Emergencies Trust Campaign with a donation to help galvanize the national efforts now underway.
Neighbourly community platform
Through partnerships with organisations like Neighbourly, a community platform, M&S link their stores to local organisations so they can donate surplus food and non-food products to the people who really need them.
Customers can also show support for their local community by selecting Neighbourly or the National Emergencies Trust as their chosen Sparks charity. This means M&S will continue to donate to these funds every time customers use their Sparks loyalty card.
Retailers helping vulnerable people
M&S has joined a raft of retailers helping vulnerable people get the supplies they need by reserving the first hour of trade every Monday and Thursday vulnerable and elderly customers to. For NHS and emergency service workers they have reserved the first hour of trade on Tuesdays and Fridays for them to shop.
To combat the stockpiling and panic buying which has swept the nation, they have also introduced temporary purchasing restrictions on some lines to make sure no one goes without.
Full pay for self-isolation
To acknowledge the critical role staff will have to play in the coming weeks they are supporting all employees by providing full pay, should they need to self-isolate. For staff members who may find their families facing temporary hardship, they have set up a colleagues fund to give them extra help.
Steve Rowe, chief executive of M&S said: “Our guiding value is that we are all in this together. Our M&S family doing our very best to help every family that we can”