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M&S volunteers in Merthyr Tydfil bring community together

The team at M&S Merthyr Tydfil has joined 5,000 of their colleagues across the UK to take part in a week-long volunteering drive this week (18-24 June).

The team donned their overalls and revamped the communal areas of the Cancer Aid Merthyr Tydfil centre.
Throughout the week, M&S colleagues across the nation are committing over 40,000 hours to volunteering at 685 local projects that make a difference to the communities they serve. Every project has a common goal, which is to bring people together – from creating vibrant outdoor spaces to connecting local people who are affected by loneliness.

M&S Merthyr Tydfil embarked on a two-day project to revamp the communal areas in the Cancer Aid Merthyr Tydfil centre, including the entrance area. The volunteers also lent their green-fingers to transform the garden by clearing weeds and adding in some spring blooms. By improving the centre surroundings, the M&S volunteers hope to create a more calming and welcoming environment for those that use it.

Cancer Aid Merthyr Tydfil provides practical and emotional support for cancer patients, and their families, during and after diagnosis. The charities range of services focus on providing support, free at the point of use for all residents of Merthyr Tydfil whose lives have been touched by cancer.

Matt Murphy-Kitto of M&S Merthyr Tydfil commented:

“We’re really pleased to have come together and lend a hand to Cancer Aid Merthyr Tydfil. Volunteering makes a profound difference to communities, and we believe that lots of small actions from lots of people, can have a lasting impact on society and help improve lives! We hope the team there and those who use the centre will enjoy the revamped areas.”

Kaleigh Wynne, from Cancer Aid Merthyr Tydfil, added:

“Our centre was purpose built in 2007, and after 10 years our communal areas are a little tired, so we are thrilled to benefit from the help of the M&S volunteers. Links with businesses are essential to small charities like us and we are delighted to have developed a strong relationship with the Merthyr Tydfil Store. We’d like to give a big thank you to Marks & Spencer, and the volunteers who are supporting us and working hard to ensure our centre is a place where cancer patients feel welcome and at ease.”

Merthyr Tydfil is one of 10 locations selected for M&S’s community transformation programme, as part of Plan A 2025. The retailer is currently trialling a range of actions in the local area to help tackle the issues that matter most to communities – such as unemployment, skill shortages, loneliness, poverty, mental health and wellbeing.

Several initiatives are already taking place across Wales as part of the community transformation programme. This includes fortnightly meet-ups for new mums in the M&S Café to enjoy a coffee and a chat, working in collaboration with the leading social network MUSH, which connects mums locally based on their children’s ages and interests.
The Merthyr Tydfil store is also hosting a new monthly ‘Tea and Company’ social group in the M&S Café in partnership with Royal Voluntary Service, a national volunteering organisation supporting older people and the NHS. The ‘friendship’ tables, hosted by Royal Voluntary Service, are being set up to encourage older people to come together and connect with others from the local community. M&S is offering £1 off hot drinks for both events. Ask a team member in store for more details.

M&S stores across the UK are connected to local initiatives by Neighbourly, the social network for social good. To get involved in the online conversation, follow @MarksandSpencer and #MarksinAction.