Published Wednesday 7th June 2017

Staff from Hereford’s Marks and Spencer store have given up their time to rejuvenate the garden of a house offered to those with loved ones at St Michael’s Hospice.

More than 20 employees from the High Town branch spent a day sprucing up the grounds of the house which is next to the Hospice in Bartestree.

The property is available free of charge to friends and relatives of those staying at St Michael’s, many travelling long distances without anywhere to stay after visiting their loved ones.

The house gives them their own space but is just yards from the Hospice’s Inpatient Unit.

The work by Marks and Spencer was part of its Make it Matter Day commitment to support 1,000 communities across the UK, helping 10 million people live happier, healthier lives, and be a zero waste business.

This will see M&S colleagues dedicating one million hours of community volunteering by 2025, to support local initiatives and projects that really matter in the communities that M&S serves.

Hereford’s M&S store has previously supported St Michael’s as its Charity of the Year, so staff know first hand the work the charity does.

Steph Lawrence, Plan A Champion at M&S Hereford, said: ‘When we discussed which local project to support with our volunteer time, the idea of creating a garden in the family accommodation really resonated with the team.

‘St Michael’s Hospice provides an incredible support system for local people facing very difficult circumstances.’

Paddy Nugent from St Michael’s Hospice, said: ‘The work that M&S is undertaking will be invaluable to many families at St Michael’s.

‘For patients who have loved ones living far away, having a place to stay when they visit which gives them time to take a breath and relax is priceless.

‘We are very grateful for the kindness and time devoted by the team at M&S Hereford. Gestures like this make it possible for us to continue providing all of our services free of charge.’

Nationwide, employees in every M&S store have been joining their colleagues in Hereford during this week’s National Volunteers Week by helping to transform local projects that make a real difference.

In total, over 7,000 colleagues will support 700 community projects across the breadth of the UK. Make it Matter is part of the recently launched M&S campaign ‘#SpenditWell’, which is about inspiring people to make every moment special by focusing on the experiences, people and things that really matter in life.

Robert Beeston, the Store Manager at M&S Hereford, added: ‘We’ve really come together as a team to support St Michael’s Hospice. Volunteering can make a profound difference to the communities in which we live and work – we believe that lots of the small actions from lots of people can collectively have a huge impact.’

Kristen Stephenson, Volunteering Development Manager at the National Council of Voluntary Organisations, said: ‘A lack of time is the number one barrier to volunteering and so it’s great to see businesses like M&S supporting staff with time off to make a difference to causes that matter to their local communities.

‘Volunteers make a huge difference around the country, whether it’s running sports clubs, saving lives, looking after our heritage or supporting those in need, the UK’s volunteers are an inspiration and it’s important we recognise their work.

‘Volunteers’ Week is always a fantastic opportunity to say thank you to the millions of people who make a difference in our communities.’

If you or your business is interested in getting involved with St Michael’s Hospice, contact our Community Fundraising Manager, Paddy Nugent, on 01432 851 000 or