My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

M&S Cardiff volunteers transform community centre gardens

Yesterday, 12 volunteers from M&S Cardiff Capital and M&S Llanishen Cardiff joined Maes y Coed Community Centre to help rejuvenate its overgrown outdoor space, transforming its Wild Wood Area for local children taking part in summer activities.

[aoa id=”1″]Maes y Coed Community Centre lies at the heart of the local community, providing fitness and martial arts classes, as well as community gardening and choir workshops for children, young people and adults. The centre was saved four years ago after two local residents prevented the centre being closed down by the council. The two volunteers have since turned into 34 volunteers who work 80 hours a week to run community events.[/aoa]

The centre reached out to M&S Cardiff stores for support as the volunteers who run the centre needed extra resources and funding to transform its Wild Wood Area in time for their summer activities. The M&S volunteer team rolled up their sleeves and gardened all day, transforming the outdoor space into an outdoor play haven for local children and families to enjoy.

The volunteers were 12 of 5,000 colleagues from more than 600 M&S stores across the UK, who took part in a week-long volunteering drive, committing over 40,000 hours to projects that work tirelessly to improve the lives of children, young people and families across the UK.

The projects selected all help young people as a group that M&S and its customers feels passionate about supporting. As well as Maes y Coed Community Centre, M&S is working with 400 organisations including schools, food banks, youth clubs and education charities to create positive outcomes for thousands of young people across the UK.

Sarah Smith, Plan A Champion at M&S Cardiff Capital said: “We’re really proud to be coming together as a team to support Maes y Coed. At M&S Cardiff we care passionately about supporting young people in our community. Helping the community is something we know our customers care about too and we were really pleased to be able to help them out by transforming the garden. Volunteering makes a profound difference to communities, and we believe that lots of small actions from lots of people creates a lasting impact to initiatives that do so much good for young people in Cardiff.”

Sophey Mills, Manager at Maes-y-Coed Community Centre, said: “We couldn’t be more grateful for the support that the M&S volunteers have given us throughout this project. Our Wild Wood Area had become overgrown and it would’ve been too much for our volunteers to take on by themselves, so the extra manpower has been crucial to getting us ready for summer!”

Across Cardiff, M&S stores have come out in force to support the local community, with projects including:

  • A team of volunteers from M&S Culverhouse Cross visited DYT Dance and Performing Arts, renovating and restoring the Fleur de Lys Institute into a hub where young people can dance, sing and perform whilst gaining confidence and learning new skills
  • M&S Cardiff Queen Street has been working with Mencap Cymru, a charity that supports disabled people, to renovate its outdoor garden spaces

Maes y Coed Community Centre and M&S were connected to work together by Neighbourly – the social network for social good.