We may be easing our way back to some sort of normality but I think we all realise the current crisis is far from over. The work of our amazing NHS teams and key staff right across the board has been incredible. As a way of thanking, and once again showing support, this weekend, colleagues and customers at M&S Cardiff will be taking part in the one-off Clap for Carers to mark the 72nd birthday of the NHS, supported by the founder of the initiative and NHS England boss Sir Simon Stevens.

Sir Simon Stevens

Ahead of the weekend, the team have installed a new display to share with customers just how generous the local community has been during this unprecedented time. The in-store display (our cover picture) shows how much M&S Cardiff customers have donated through a range of activity including shopping M&S’s Rainbow sale (where 10% of each purchase is donated to NHS Charities Together), buying the limited edition NHS Charities Together Bag for Life in the Cardiff Foodhall, purchasing M&S’s All in This Together T-shirts (pictured on Holly Willoughby and son below) and making one-off donations at the till points. This fundraising total is already £10,885.

Steve Rowe, CEO of M&S, and a driving force behind the companies charitable efforts. He said……

“We’re doing our bit to help the NHS by focussing on what we do best – providing great food and clothes – in the hope we can make it just a little easier for our NHS heroes to do what they do best, as well as the patients in their care. We get through these challenging times by pulling together and it’s been truly humbling to read the suggestions that have been pouring in from colleagues and customers alike with ideas for how we can help those on the NHS frontline. At a time when everyone is facing into personal challenges and our own frontline colleagues are working round the clock – it’s heartening to see the whole nation is getting behind the fantastic NHS teams we’re relying on right now. We really are all in this together and I’m delighted we have been able to turn some of those ideas into action.” 

  • M&S Cardiff will be taking part in the one-off Clap for Carers this Sunday to celebrate the 72nd birthday of the NHS
  • Generous customers at the store have already raised £10,885 for NHS Charities Together during this unprecedented time through a range of fundraising activity 
  • A new in-store rainbow display will update customers on their fundraising total each week throughout the summer 

There is still time for you to continue to get involved in lots of ways including selecting NHS Charities Together as their Sparks charity (M&S’s loyalty scheme) meaning M&S donates on their behalf every time they shop in any store or online.

Store Manager, Simon Newman and his team will be updating the accumulator each Monday. He told us……

“The past few months have been challenging for all of us, but one thing that’s been amazing is seeing people rally together. We’re very proud that our community has already helped raise £10,885 for a really important cause that will provide vital support to NHS staff, volunteers, and patients. Clothes shopping is different now and as customers are coming back and starting to shop with confidence it’s really lovely that the first thing they’ll see when they enter our shop is a display that shows the generosity and kindness of the local community.” 

Ellie Orton is CEO of the NHS Charities Together and understandably thrilled at the difference M&S customers have, and continue to make……. 

“I can’t thank M&S customers enough, the money you have raised is making a huge difference for the NHS staff and volunteers who have been there for all of us during the Covid crisis. I’d urge all of you to come together with friends, family and neighbours for a moment of thanks on 5 July, so we can show appreciation for everyone who has been there for others over the last few challenging months.” 

It’s not only here in South Wales where M&S have been rolling out support; nationally……….

  • M&S donated thousands of specially branded t-shirts to form part of the uniform pack for the fantastic NHS Nightingale frontline team in London.
  • M&S sourced, packed and delivered much needed individual clothing care packs as a donation to NHS Nightingale London to help provide comfort and dignity for discharged patients. 
  • Donated over 4,000 pyjamas to be used as scrubs to NHS Derbyshire, located close to our Castle Donington distribution centre. 
  • M&S Food ran a twice-weekly free food delivery service for the NHS workers at M&S’s longstanding hospital partners at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington and Great Ormond Street Hospital.  
  • Donated to the NHS Charities Together COVID-19 Urgent Appeal and has enabled customers to select the appeal as their Sparks charity – so M&S will continue to donate every time they shop.

Named in celebration of the colourful symbol that has come to represent so much to customers during this unprecedented time, M&S are donating 10% of the purchase price of all Rainbow sale items to NHS Charities Together.

The sale includes all clothing departments – womenswear & lingerie, menswear and kidswear, with at least 50% off all items.  This is the latest offer from M&S as the retailer responds to customers wanting better value than ever. If you choose to go to your local store, M&S have all the social distancing and extra hygiene measures in place to help keep you safe whilst you shop. 

Finally, we want to direct you to TOGETHER a campaign that starts with questions rather than answers. After launch, they will begin talk/together: a UK-wide conversation about what divides us, what unites us and what will bring us closer together. They hope this will be the biggest public survey since the census, engaging people in conversations right across the UK. To find our more and to take the survey, in either English or Welsh, go HERE.

They need as many of us as possible to share our views, so that talk/together provides a real picture of what we feel unites and divides us – and what we should do about it. So please share the open survey widely and encourage your networks, friends, supporters and colleagues to tell us them you think.

Simon Newman and Ffion Phillips

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