AT M&S, we’ve supported our local communities throughout our history, because we know that vibrant
communities are essential for our success. One way in which we do this is through working with Business
in the Community Ireland to identify local projects, which our colleagues and customers truly care about,
and which can benefit from volunteer support.
Every M&S employee is entitled to a paid day’s leave to volunteer and each year we run a focused week,
where we coordinate volunteer projects across all 18 stores in Ireland. However, 2019 was a special year
for M&S as it marked our 40th anniversary in Ireland, so to mark this milestone, 500 colleagues undertook
to support 40 projects as part of 40 days of action to support local communities.
In Dublin, 30 volunteers from M&S stores picked up their paint brushes for Belvedere Youth Club to help
support young people living in the north inner city. Volunteers were put to work painting and decorating
the club’s sports hall, as well as drama and games rooms. The club, which is attended by nearly 400
children and young people, provides sports, youth theatre and arts classes, as well as a drop-in service
and after-school programme. Updating these spaces has helped the club to be able to continue to deliver
these important social, educational and recreational programmes.
Other key projects M&S colleagues supported across the 40 days included:
– A bag pack across all 18 stores in the Republic of Ireland for Pieta House to raise €100,000, to
enable Pieta House Resilience Academy facilitator teams to reach additional secondary schools
and students with its six-week mental health programme.
– Groundskeeping, painting and cleaning at Barretstown ahead of summer camps for seriously ill
– Raising money in-store for Make-A-Wish to grant wishes for children living with life-threatening
– Gardening at the Alzheimer Society of Ireland’s Day Care Centre in Blackrock to create a
welcoming and relaxing outdoor space for the people with dementia who attend each day.
– Delivering food and sleeping bags to help the homeless through difficult times with Inner City
Gillian Collins, Operations Manager of Belvedere Youth Club said: “We’re hugely grateful to M&S and
their colleagues for supporting Belvedere Youth Club. Fundraising and volunteer support is vital to
continue our service for young people in Dublin’s north inner city and the new and improved spaces will
make a tangible difference to our members’ lives. Support from companies like M&S help us to provide
our members with an open space to make positive life choices, be it through educational support, career
guidance, finding a sport they love or looking at how they spend their time with their friends.”
The volunteer projects have all helped the different groups of people that M&S and its customers feel
passionate about supporting, covering a wide range of organisations including schools, food banks, youth
clubs and education charities to create positive outcomes for thousands of people across Ireland.
M&S Ireland provided €342,042 in cash donations; €4,556 was contributed through in-kind donations and €99,814 was raised through employee fundraising. Employees also volunteered 1,183 hours to local groups and projects during the year.