This June, M&S teams from more than 600 store and office locations will be giving their time and skills to causes fighting for the well-being of children, young people and families. Their week of action, from 3rd to 7th June will see employees work with more than 400 schools, food banks, scout and guides groups, youth clubs, health and education charities on Neighbourly to create positive outcomes for thousands of young people across the UK.
With child poverty set to reach a record high in 2019 and with increasingly stretched schools, healthcare services, food banks and youth services, there’s never been a greater need to invest in young people. The events that have been created will all create a lasting benefit to a local organisation and a huge range of events have been planned – from revamping youth centres, to garden makeovers to skills workshops. Overall, the programme is delivering opportunities for over 4,500 M&S colleagues, committing over 38,000 volunteer hours to 442 community projects – from Scotland all the way down to Cornwall and across to Ireland. Each charity is also being given a donation to help make the event a success.
Building on the success of Making Every Moment Special in 2018, 298 stores will join together to collaborate on volunteer efforts with other nearby M&S stores. This will maximise the manpower impact for community projects as teams collaborate towards the shared goal to invest in young people.
Offering much needed people power and resources to schools
Schools will be the largest group of beneficiaries comprising 25% of causes supported and totaling more than 100 nurseries, primary and secondary schools. This comes at an important time with many schools significantly lacking the core resources they need to operate effectively. M&S employees will be volunteering in classrooms, offering employability training, promoting healthy eating, rejuvenating school halls and developing outdoor classrooms. In Bristol, the Avonmouth and Imperial stores will come together to revitalise the grounds of Hartcliffe Nursery School and Children's Centre through painting, clearing, repairing and planting – a project that will have a big impact for the local children in a deprived Bristol community, and one that the school would not otherwise be able to complete.
Transforming youth community spaces
Over 200 projects will see M&S staff getting stuck in to transform much loved community spaces through hands on activities – increasing the accessibility of outdoor space for well-being, repairing and painting playgrounds, brightening up youth centres. Children’s services are under increasing pressure and the work done by M&S to boost the vitality of physical environments will have a lasting impact for areas not otherwise resourced. In Sutton Coldfield three M&S teams will work with The Streetly Academy to turn a ‘dead space’ into a sensory garden for open mic sessions used by 150 SEND students to explore and express themselves musically.
Promoting health and well-being for children and youth
90 projects will see the good work of young people’s physical and mental health services supported by M&S teams including many that have been put forward as a result of the personal experiences of M&S employees. The volunteers will be working with young people to run creative well-being workshops, rejuvenating family areas in hospitals and children’s hospices and helping to set up and run family fun days, fetes and events. At The Tanyard Youth project in South Wales, a team from Haverford West will be creating a courtyard and BBQ area to promote young people’s mental health and to create a long-lasting safe place for them to go within the community.
Tackling hunger for children and their families
Building on the M&S food redistribution programme through Neighbourly, more than 50 M&S food charity partners will receive 80 store and office teams across the week. Staff will be able to contribute beyond their weekly food donations to help those families in food poverty and the important work of the charities who support them. Food bank usage is at an all-time high with more than half a million emergency food parcels going to children last year from one food network alone.. Employees will be serving hot food to those in need, stocking shelves with essential supplies and rolling up their sleeves to carry out important maintenance work in order for the charities to continue to operate. In North West London the Harrow team will be working on the community allotment at My Yard Watford – one of our longest running food surplus partners who joined the scheme in 2015. They’ll be harvesting crops in the community garden, hosting a community meal and seeing first hand why M&S food surplus is so valued within the local community.
Sharing skills and helping young people into employment
With partners including CLIC Sargent and the YMCA, 30 store and office teams will be sharing their experiences of the working world with young adults and children, supporting CV writing and job skills workshops and investing their retail skills within their communities. Across 4 learning centres 8 teams will work with Young Enterprise to teach students about the skills and qualities required to be successful in the workplace, building a broader understanding of routes to employment amongst students.
For the charities, schools and groups taking part, we hope M&S Volunteer Week will be a wonderful experience and we can’t wait to see the photos!
Follow all the action on #MarksInAction
We’re looking for a highly organised, super enthusiastic person to manage the administration across our food surplus redistribution client accounts. You will help with organising, supporting and communicating with fellow team members and our customers, as well as our large network of community causes across the UK and Ireland.
Based in central Bristol, Neighbourly is an all-in-one giving platform that connects charities, companies and communities across the UK and Ireland, at scale.
The platform provides a free space for community groups and charities to tell their story and use built in tools to:
Neighbourly was set up in 2015 by a group of like-minded individuals that believed there was a new way to significantly grow community investment, by making it easier for people to ask for, and to give help. We were one of the UK’s first B Corporations, meaning we’re a for-profit company certified by the non-profit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
We currently manage surplus food redistribution schemes for 5 major UK retailers and food manufacturers, helping to ensure good food goes to community causes that can use and share it effectively.
Nice to have
To apply, please email a cover note and your CV to email@example.com
No agencies please.
As we mark and celebrate another International Women's Day, three of our wonderful team members reflect on this year's theme of #BalanceforBetter and what it means for them..
When reflecting on the theme #BalanceforBetter, I think about the way that our work at Neighbourly pushes society to value what historians and sociologists call 'women's work'. This is the invisible, unpaid labour (going on outside of the 9 to 5) to sustain relationships, provide nourishment and create spaces for families and communities to flourish. When we speak to our community partners, and connect them with support in whatever form, we're doing our bit to redress the balance of where we place value and what kinds of work are worth our time.
My Granny's 103rd birthday on Saturday was an eye opener (not least because she's 103!) - but it caused me to reflect again on how much society has changed in a short period of time. As a woman who supported the war effort and then continued the fight long after the last shot was fired, to feed and clothe her family, she just could not comprehend why at Neighbourly we help to distribute surplus because she could not understand why surplus existed in the first place. From a time when every last scrap was used, mashed potato was added to butter to make it go further, and clothes darned and patched to extend their life, a recent pattern of behaviour (enforced by the fast-pace of life), has resulted in our demand to have access to food and produce at a moment's notice and our supermarkets have responded, inevitably resulting in surplus stock. Equally with the handle of fast fashion turning and the ever-decreasing price-points for clothes that used to be bought as a staple to get us through the season are now bought for a night out or two and then disposed of...
But today there are still people fighting to survive in our communities. Richard Watts, who chairs the Local Government Association’s resources board, said: “Between 2010 and 2020, councils will have lost almost 60 pence out of every pound the Government had provided for services" which is a catastrophic decline in support for our grass-roots causes which must be given the best opportunity to survive if our communities are going to be happy, healthy places. At Neighbourly we're incredibly fortunate to be able to do something about it - technology means available produce can easily be matched with local needs ensuring such valuable resources are connected to help reduce the day-to-day struggles of so many.
So a public and personal commitment from me to my Granny - the most determined woman I know and a true role-model - to ensure we treat resources with respect, connecting surplus with those in need, making sure every member of society - man, woman or child has the best chance for surviving another day.
I was taught #balanceforbetter by my dad who brought up 3 daughters. Now we 3 are independent women, championing equality through different paths - nursing, social care, motherhood and business for good. I think that we shouldn’t forget to recognise the important part that our male role models play. My father is as a strong a figurehead for gender equality and celebrating the achievements of women as my sisters, female friends and colleagues. Like most significant change, gender equality can only be achieved together. Collaboration is the word :)
A balanced world is a better world - amen to that.
A page on Neighbourly can help Charities and Community Groups raise their profile and receive donations of money, time and surplus food/products from our corporate clients. It's also a great place to share stories and all the good work being done to support local communities.
Over the last few months, we’ve been making it even easier for good causes to create a free page on neighbourly.com. Based on feedback from our community, we have released a new step-by-step process to guide people through creating their page and setting up their goals - whether that be food donations, fundraising or volunteer support.
Create your free page in a few easy steps
Following the step-by-step process you can tell us about your organisation and provide an image so people can understand what your organisation does. We also ask for some information about yourself so we can create an account and let you know about all the different opportunities that could benefit you.
You’ll know where you are in the process and what you still need to complete by the steps at the top of the page.
The clever bit…..
When entering a registration number we can search and display the official information and also use those details to pre-populate the name, description, contact details and address - making it even quicker and easier for you:
This information is made available under the Open Government License v2.0
Tell us what your organisation needs
Whilst creating a Neighbourly a page you can quickly start fundraising, create a volunteer event or request food surplus from our corporate clients:
After you’ve completed steps 1 to 5, just publish your page and share it on your social networks to get started! If you’ve requested food donations, we’ll be in touch to let you know about local stores that can support you.
We’re always busy working with our corporate clients on delivering new community programmes, so rest assured we’ll be in touch as soon as we think there’s something we can help you with.
Ready to get started?
Simply click the link here to start your page: https://www.neighbourly.com/goodcause/new/
Tell us what you think
We hope you find creating your Neighbourly page easy and would love to know what you think. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New features are being developed and released all the time and we are always looking for people to provide feedback. If you would like to join our user testing community please email: email@example.com.
Marks and Spencer has for a long time been dedicated to making a difference with its ‘Plan A’ vision for a sustainable future. Through this programme, first launched over 10 years ago in 2007, they strive to be a business that has a positive impact on wellbeing, communities and the planet. The program focuses on social and environmental issues and ensuring that by 2025 they are a circular business, generating zero waste – a bold goal that involves all their operations, supply chains and customers.
Since 2012, M&S have been zero-waste-to-landfill across their owned operations in the UK and Republic of Ireland and have made the prevention of food waste a priority. They were the first major retailer to provide live updates via the Neighbourly website on the number of tonnes of surplus food redistributed, and the first to manage a nationwide redistribution scheme through a single platform.
This type of thinking isn’t new to M&S. They’ve always been an innovator and leader in their food operations – pioneering boil-in-the-bag and sachet meals in 1972, then creating Britain’s first chilled instant meal, the much-loved chicken Kiev in 1979. The ease of not having to cook up a meal from scratch suited the working woman and the popularity of the ready-meal soared – an innovation that most certainly changed how we ate as we entered the ‘80s.
Arguably their greatest invention remains the adored packaged sandwich, created by M&S in the spring of 1980. Packaged sandwiches are now a staple in our lives and the industry is booming, its annual worth estimated at £8 billion – so it may seem surprising that the idea had never been tried before, but it hadn’t. Packaged sandwiches were a huge novelty when they started being sold on the Marks and Spencer shop floor for as little as 43p just 37 years ago. Some thought them outlandish – who would pay for something they could just as easily make at home? But they sold, and sold fast. The way that we lived and worked was changing and soon every supermarket was following the trend. In the early 90s, the head of their sandwich department developed M&S’s first dedicated “food to go” section, with its own tills and checkouts, in Manchester. The innovation was a huge success and prefigured the layout of most contemporary supermarkets.
But as we know, the advent of the modern-day supermarket, combined with the changing lifestyles and expectations of consumers has bought about one of today’s biggest environmental challenges – food waste. The total estimate for UK food waste stands at a staggering 10.2 million tonnes. Of that, 7.1 million tonnes are thrown away in our homes – with 70% classed as ‘avoidable’ (meaning every year we put 5.0 million tonnes of food that could have been eaten into our bins, worth an estimated £15 billion). Marks and Spencer are working to address this problem through advancements in the products and packaging that they sell. They engage their customers and encourage them to store and use food more efficiently – for example shoppers have been given tips on how to avoid food waste and the clarity of food date labelling has been improved.
Of the remaining 3.1 million tonnes of UK food waste, 260,000 tonnes come from retail, 1.85 million from manufacturers and around 1 million from hospitality and food service. This waste has been the focus of intense scrutiny in recent years, which has successfully resulted in a 50% increase in the amount redistributed to good causes in just two years, according to WRAP. This brings the 2017 total to the equivalent of 102 million meals redistributed – to the value of £130 million.
Marks & Spencer’s approach to food waste is comprehensive and they have committed to reducing food waste by 20% by 2020 and becoming a zero-waste business by 2025. Their primary aim is to reduce the amount of waste created in the first place and they’ve invested in new stock forecasting and planning systems as well as comprehensive supplier engagement schemes. They’ve also increased the volume of short life food sold at a discount to customers and this process now consistently clears most of the products that would otherwise have been disposed of. After redistributing whatever possible to good causes through the Neighbourly platform, any remaining surplus goes to anaerobic digestion (a process that turns food waste into electricity – some of which is bought back to power M&S stores) – absolutely nothing goes to landfill.
To date, M&S stores have donated around 5.6 million meals to local communities through the Neighborly platform. This includes surplus baked goods, cupboard items, fruit, vegetables and chilled food (meat, dairy, fish, frozen food, ready meals, juices, sandwiches). They also donate flowers and non-food surplus like cleaning products, laundry items and toiletries. Their stores are connected to more than 850 local charities across the UK where meals, food parcels and a helping hand are provided to those who need it.
Through Neighbourly, every store is partnered with a nearby group such as a community café, foodbank or homeless shelter that receives daily alerts to let them know when surplus is available. Thanks to these donations, charity partners can benefit from their resources going a little further, enabling them to provide fresh items, fruit and vegetables to people in the community who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford them. The stores also provide wider support to their local charities through their year-long Local Charity Fundraising and annual volunteering programmes.
Here are just a few of the local causes that M&S support through Neighbourly:
Whitechapel Centre is the leading homelessness and housing charity in Liverpool supporting people to get back on their feet and providing them with a hot meal and a kind smile. Local M&S stores (and other retailers) give their unsold food to the centre so that this service can be provided. The charity also gives advice on housing, employment and basic facilities for the homeless. They are committed to helping people who are sleeping rough, living in hostels or struggling to manage their accommodation find a home and learn essential independent living skills. They work closely with each individual to get them the right help.
Norwich Food Hub collect surplus food from many stores in the area to redistribute it to community groups and local charities across the city. The hub was born from Director Rowan van Tromp’s passion surrounding environmental sustainability within the food supply chain and realisation that there was a lack of this type of service in the area. They receive and sort the food surplus before redistributing it to the vulnerable people across the city who are living at or below the breadline. Sadly, food poverty is a large issue in Norwich but the food hub’s work to redistribute surplus food is helping to lessen the problem.
In Yeovil, the community meals service delivers hot meals for the elderly or those who struggle to cook for themselves. Their meals are homemade and delivered by volunteers to people who might be suffering with dementia or physical issues that prevent them from cooking. Through this service carers are given a break from the task of preparing dinner by having a hot meal delivered instead, taking the strain away and brightening people’s days.
Nowadays we find that most businesses are actually doing more to change on the inside than many people appreciate, and M&S continues to lead from the front as customer expectations about what kind of companies they want to support change. As M&S colleagues continue to challenge why more can't be done, we at Neighbourly are continually working on solutions that connect their contribution so that customers notice and want to know how they can join in. We're extremely proud of our 4+ year partnership with M&S and how we've proved that a national business can indeed make a local difference in every community it serves.
For more information on Plan A, have a look at corporate.marksandspencer.com/plan-a
How to get involved in the M&S surplus scheme
Marks and Spencer are continuing to expand their food surplus scheme, making sure they can donate as much food surplus as possible and make a positive impact in the community. If you have a charity or community cause that could regularly collect surplus, you should join the Neighbourly platform and create a free page for your group. Your organisation will need a Level 2 (or equivalent) food hygiene certified no longer than 2.5 years ago. For chilled collections, you’ll need cool bags or boxes, freezers for storage and volunteers to collect after store closing in the evening.
PRESS RELEASE, 19 September 2018
Giving platform Neighbourly has today put out a call inviting charities, food projects, schools and community groups to join its free food surplus redistribution scheme. Neighbourly is the redistribution partner to retailers and manufacturers including Marks & Spencer, Lidl and Danone.
Through the Neighbourly platform, the equivalent of more than 7.5 million meals has been distributed to over 1,500 charities and community projects in local communities across the UK and Ireland.
Now Neighbourly is extending the scheme to more communities whose residents and families are suffering from food poverty and insecurity. The latest research from WRAP shows that food redistribution from commercial sources (retailers, manufacturers and hospitality and food services businesses) has increased by 50% in just two years but that there is potential for increased redistribution. One of the things that is needed for this to happen is for more charities to be aware that this resource is available to them and join up to benefit from the scheme.
Neighbourly’s own research – from surveying its food surplus recipients – shows just how important receiving surplus is to them. On average, charities reported that they save an estimated average of £161 a month through these food donations and 90% find the Neighbourly food surplus schemes beneficial or extremely beneficial.
Food surplus available for daily collection includes fruit and veg, bakery products and ambient food (food which can be safely stored at room temperature in a sealed container). It is also possible for charities to collect chilled items from some stores - dairy, meat, fish, chilled drinks and packaged ready meals, as long as they can meet certain criteria for safe collection, transportation and storage of chilled goods.
“While the Neighbourly platform has distributed the equivalent of more than 7.5 million meals over the past three years, it’s imperative that we keep building knowledge across the sector that this valuable resource is available” Nick Davies, Neighbourly’s founder, added. “We invite charities of all shapes and sizes to join, from small community groups right through to larger charity networks, who in particular are able to put chilled items to good use. So much of the food surplus supply chain is as yet untapped. The Neighbourly food surplus scheme is free and easy for charities and community food projects to get involved with, so we encourage them to sign up.”
To sign up to receive food surplus, charities and not-for-profits should to register with Neighbourly or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Groups must have a food hygiene certificate in order to collect the surplus.
Chilled food donations criteria
In order to collect chilled food donations (meat, fish, dairy, ready meals, chilled drinks), charities must be able to meet the following criteria:
We know how it is: you are busy. Not only are you trying to make a living, you also have to fit in your social life, keep in contact with your loved ones and stay fit and healthy. Doing good? Well, sometimes there’s just no time.
This is where GoodGym comes in.
GoodGymers get fit by doing good. Instead of expending energy in gyms and on treadmills, they put their energy into our local community. Combine this with getting to do it with a bunch of like-minded individuals and you have a three-in-one combo - socialising, keeping fit and volunteering - tick, tick, tick.
And once you get a taste of GoodGym, you will see that it’s so much more than just a way of increasing your step-count. As well as weekly Group Runs to help a local community project, GoodGym focuses on helping vulnerable older people through tackling loneliness and isolation.
Runners can get involved in Coach Runs, where they get paired with an isolated older person that they run to visit once a week. You can also go on Missions, running in a pair to help an older person with a one-off task, such as moving their bed downstairs or clearing their garden.
GoodGym leaves regular running clubs behind it in a puff of good-willed smoke. It becomes a way to connect with your community while achieving your own fitness goals and making a real difference to local people and your area.
And for the community groups that need that help? GoodGym knows how stretched they can be - funds have been cut, volunteers don’t have much time, there is often so much to do you don’t know where to begin.
GoodGym can help: they are always looking for new projects to support, and really know how true the saying ‘many hands make light work’ can be. They help everything from established charities to one-person community projects. Get in touch to get support from the group and you could have a bunch of runners volunteering for you in no time.
Shona is Trainer of GoodGym Bristol. GoodGym has locations all across England and in Cardiff. To get involved with your local GoodGym as a runner or to get help from your local group, take a look at the website: www.goodgym.org.
Summer is upon us so now’s the perfect time to get your shorts on and venture outdoors into the sunshine.
You’re probably already headed off to your local park to enjoy the scenery and the sun’s rays, but did you know our beloved green spaces are under threat from budget cuts? Hundred’s of children’s playgrounds have already been closed across England by local authorities, with many more to go before the year is out. In Bristol, it’s planned that by 2019 parks in the city will have all their funding stopped completely.
So what does this mean for us? Without funding, our parks lose their protection, become less maintained, dirty and even dangerous. Disused and unloved spaces become hot spots for nefarious activity and can eventually be sold off for development, lost forever to another concrete tower block or car park.
What do our parks give us? How valuable are they to us? We know they have an effect on our mental well being as well obviously a great place to exercise and socialise. They’re a place for children and families to enjoy picnics, play or maybe sitting in quiet solitude. They help reduce heat in urban built up areas. They’re a central, cultural hub for entire cities and a safe place for our wildlife.
There are plenty of community groups on Neighbourly actively helping their communities by putting their own time and resources into their local parks. Friends of Sandringham Park plants flowerbeds, seeds and plants to help attract wildlife and bees. They also hold regular litter picks to keep the park clean and even work with local youth to help deter anti-social behaviour in these areas. Sutton Coldfield & Erdington Park Rangers work hard to preserve the conservation nature value of public open spaces and Sutton Park National Nature Reserve.
Here are a few of own suggestions on how you can get out there and help your local park.
1 Gardening – you can make a start by getting your fingers green and helping with general maintenance of your local park grounds. By planting more flowers, shrubbery and trees you’ll encourage wildlife back into the area and provide a beautiful space for locals to spend time in. Just make sure to check what you’re planting in case that species is harmful to other plants, animals and people.
2 Litter picks – a seemingly inevitable part of everyday life these days… a litter pick keeps your local park clean and tidy and is not only aesthetically pleasing but encourages a safer home for wildlife and children. We all know what a problem plastic pollution has become, but people will also be less likely to discard their litter in a cleaner environment than one already strewn with wrappers and plastic bottles.
3 Hold park fundraisers – fun and games, exercise classes, cake sales etc. These are all activities are parks are brilliant venues for. They get people outside into a healthier environment and give people the opportunity to socialise and connect. These are also great ways to reach out to your local community and speak to them about the importance of raising funds to keep the area maintained.
4 Start a Friends Of group – many parks may already have their own group so it’s worth looking into joining yours or if not, start up a new one!
Neighbourly matches charity and community projects with people and companies that can lend a hand. Get support by creating and sharing a project or give support by following, donating or giving a day to volunteer.
June 2018 saw Marks and Spencer take on their #MarksinAction volunteering campaign in partnership with Neighbourly, which involved thousands of staff across the country lending a helping hand to over 685 community projects. The programme, which ran from the 18th to 22nd June, brought local stores and charities together to benefit the local community. During the week, over 5,000 staff spent over 40,000 hours participating in transformation projects nationwide, including refurbishing spaces and gardens, helping with food redistribution projects and giving skills-based support.
The feedback has been amazing, with so many tweets and messages of thanks from the charities about the transformations that happened. Here are just a few of the wonderful projects that took part.
Cliff Top Kennels Re-forming Centre, Scarborough
This small, dedicated charity work to re-home unwanted, abandoned and stray dogs with a loving family. On 20th June, eight M&S volunteers revamped a static caravan used for charity committee meetings for training some of their rescue dogs and also created a beautiful garden in front. M&S provided a £500 donation for the materials to complete the project and volunteers got to work stripping wallpaper and re-covering walls, as well as weeding and planting flowers to transform the caravan and the land around it. The staff at Cliff Top Kennels Re-homing Centre said: “All of us would like to say a massive thank you to the team from M&S Scarborough who spent the day with us on Wednesday as part of M&S Making Every Moment Special campaign. You worked so hard, were a pleasure to work alongside and have made a huge difference. We really appreciate it."
Remember When Group and Carers Café, Leeds
In Leeds, this group supports people with dementia and their carers, though activities that stimulate the brain. They meet once a fortnight and promote wellbeing and fun through their range of activities such as walking, quizzes, chatting, movement to music and singing. As part of #MarksinAction, a group of M&S volunteers helped to renovate a room in an old pub to be used as a community centre. Staff cleaned, tidied and painted the room to provide the charity with the ability to expand their popular table tennis group. Remember When Group and Carers café were thrilled with the volunteers efforts: “It’s great to see business supporting the voluntary sector. Thank you to the Guiseley M&S team for making such a huge difference to our room. It has been tidied, cleaned, painted and bunting added. It looks completely different and amazing. We'll be having the table tennis there from now on."
Embankment Garden, Broadstairs
This project, run by the charity Broadstairs Town Team, saw staff transform an unused piece of land to be used and loved by community members. By improving this open space in the heart of the town, it will improve wellbeing and access to open spaces by under-represented groups. M&S staff helped on the 18th June to create a quiet space for plants and wildlife by tidying, painting, wedding and planting garden borders. Broadstairs Town Team said: “We are lucky enough to be part of the Neighbourly scheme, and a fabulous group of volunteers from the local Thanet Marks and Spencer came to help. It was a fantastic effort from everyone - working in very warm conditions, so much weeding, clearing and support for our project. Thank you to everyone that came and have made such a difference. It looks so much better!"
See more photos from the Embankment Garden transformation.
Nationwide, over 685 charities and community groups were helped by their local Marks and Spencer stores as they embarked on one of their most ambitious volunteering programmes yet.
Carmel McQuaid, M&S Head of Sustainable Business, Plan A at M&S, explains how there's huge benefits for the business too: "Volunteering isn't just for retirement. There’s a popular misconception that people with full time jobs haven’t got the time to volunteer. Not only do they have to work full time, but the time it takes to research and organise an opportunity can put people off. However, it's certainly not how we see it here at M&S. Yes, our priority is to ensure the shop floor is always fully staffed, and we need to make sure the customer service centre is always manned and the website can never go down. But with good planning and thinking differently about how we deliver volunteering opportunities, it can be used to motivate colleagues and bring out the best in them. Volunteering adds value in many ways - teaching new skills, helping people learn how to problem solve, fostering social connections and ultimately improving job satisfaction and wellbeing."
See more inspiring stories of what 40,000 hours can achieve in one week on the #MarksinAction hashtag.
See all the projects involved on the Neighbourly campaign page.
Article contributed by Emma Dunn