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M&S: The Gifts That Give

Our work with Marks & Spencer is a partnership that yields a great deal of pride and satisfaction and this Christmas, with their ‘Gifts That Give’ Campaign, we could not be more thrilled to align with their mission. Unveiling their 2022 Christmas Clothing & Home TV ad, M&S have put the community front and centre, showing joyfully how a giving a gift from M&S will directly help the funding of local communities and good causes.

Identifying Causes for Good

Partnering with Neighbourly, M&S are giving £25k to 25 local community groups in Northern Ireland. The decision to gift community groups has been borne from M&S’s own research showing that despite the cost of living crisis, 2/3 of families are determined to make the most of Christmas. By extension, 69% of local community groups are experiencing a rise in pressure on their services but a drop in funding. M&S hopes to help fill this gap, easing the pressure on local services in small ways so that they can continue to offer support and care to families when they need it most.

Through working with the Neighbourly platform, M&S have identified 25 remarkable community groups that include Women’s Aid groups, food banks and a charity supporting young parents. One special group identified is the Belfast-based Whiterock Children’s Centre. Established in 1988 to support families and children in areas of significant deprivation and conflict, now 35 years later, it continues its mission but against a backdrop of a cost of living and refugee crisis.

Deirdre Walsh, Director at Whiterock Children’s Centre:

“We are very much dependent on donations from a financial perspective as well as in the form of household products and materials, all of which support our continued commitment to providing childcare, family learning and family support within the Whiterock area.

We are incredibly grateful to Marks and Spencer for recognising the need for our facility and enabling us to continue to provide our service users with support on the purchase of non-essentials including toys or clothing this Christmas.”

M&S Coleraine Vineyard Gifts that Give

Another group identified and receiving support is the Coleraine-based Vineyard Compassion. Established in 2012, Vineyard Compassion has the mission of addressing significant deprivation in the local area as well as encouraging and empowering vulnerable people to overcome poverty and crisis.

Ricky Wright, Chief Executive of Vineyard Compassion:

“We are currently experiencing unprecedented demand for ‘Emergency Essentials’ as more and more families struggle to afford the basics due to the soaring cost of living.”

“We are so grateful to Marks & Spencer for providing the funding that allows us to provide local families in crisis with these basic essentials such as toiletries, cleaning products and household items. It’s a privilege to not only offer help to people who are struggling, but also to bring a sense of hope, alleviating some of the stress and anxiety that is felt in times of difficulty. Partners like Marks & Spencer are vital in us being able to offer help and hope to people in need.”

M&S Gifts that Give Whiterock Childrens Centre

We are thrilled to help M&S in their mission to share such good will and community spirit this season.

 

The 25 groups receiving a £1000 donation include:

Whiterock Children’s Centre

LifehubNI

Children’s Heartbeat Trust

Positive Futures

Resurgam Trust

Old Warren Primary School Nursery Unit

Lisburn and Castlereagh Borough Council Community

The Storehouse (Banbridge Community Foodbank & The Bridge Pantry)

Southern Age Well Network

The Cithrah Foundation

Cause NI

Journey Community Church, Antrim

Women’s Aid (Antrim, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Larne and Newtownabbey)

Shepherd’s View Young Parents Project

Ledley Hall Boys and Girls Club Trust Ltd

Home-Start Causeway

Vineyard Compassion

Craigavon Area Foodbank

Chrysalis Women’s Centre

Horn of Africa People’s Aid Northern Ireland

PVN Belfast – Bradbury Hub Foodbank

Fermanagh Rural Community Initiative

Home-Start Omagh District

Causeway & Mid-Ulster Women’s Aid

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