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St Clare’s Abbey Primary School in Newry has received volunteer support from Marks & Spencer as part of a nationwide week of action to support young people. It was one of 16 community groups across NI to receive support.

This week 10 volunteers from M&S Newry and M&S Banbridge Outlet stores joined St Clare’s Abbey Primary School to help rejuvenate the school’s gardening club.

M&S volunteers hard at work in the St Clare's Abbey garden.
M&S volunteers hard at work in the St Clare's Abbey garden.

St Clare’s Abbey Primary School, comprising of approximately 500 pupils, reached out to M&S Newry and M&S Banbridge Outlet for support to makeover the school’s garden, including planting new vegetables and flowers, as well as building bird boxes and feeders to attract more wildlife.

The volunteer team from M&S Newry & M&S Banbridge Outlet worked alongside staff at St Clare’s Abbey Primary School to carry out the gardening project in the hope of achieving the school’s third Eco Green Flat.

Brennan Byrne from St Clare’s Abbey Primary School said: “This project has made a big impact on the school and its pupils and we are absolutely delighted that the M&S Newry and Banbridge Outlet stores have chosen to support St Clare’s Abbey Primary School - the volunteers have been an amazing support.”

The volunteers were 10 of 100 colleagues from 21 M&S stores across Northern Ireland, who took part in a week-long volunteering drive, committing over 800 hours to projects that work tirelessly to improve the lives of children, young people and families across the province.

The volunteer projects all help young people as a group that M&S and its customers feel passionate about supporting. As well as St Clare’s Abbey Primary School is working with 15 organisations including schools, food banks, youth clubs and education charities to create positive outcomes for young people across Northern Ireland.

Some of the M&S volunteers.
Some of the M&S volunteers.

Martina McNulty, M&S Newry Store Manager said: “We’re really proud to be coming together as a team to support St Clare’s Abbey Primary School. We care passionately about supporting young people in our community. The education of young people is something we know our customers care about too and we were really pleased to be able to get stuck into transforming the school’s outdoor spaces. 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 Newry.”

St Clare’s Abbey Primary School and M&S were connected to work together by Neighbourly - the social network for social good.

Find out more about M&S’s Volunteer Week at https://www.neighbourly.com 

You can follow the conversation online by searching for the hashtag #MarksInAction

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