Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Store Plans to Bring Change to Community

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Store Plans to Bring Change to Community

Article excerpt

Byline: TONI GUILLOT toni.guillot@trinitymirror.com @ToniGuillot89

IT might be better known for selling underwear, dresses and posh grub. But in an unusual move Marks & Spencer has said it will now also be tackling issues such as unemployment and poverty in Middlesbrough.

The retailer has chosen the town as one of 10 pilot sites where it will work the council and charities to "deliver positive, measurable change within the community".

M&S will test projects over the next two years to deal with issues such as skill shortages, loneliness, and mental health and wellbeing.

Some proposed projects include: |10,000 pairs of plimsolls for school children; |Careers advice, CV and interview support, and work experience for school leavers, and |Tea parties and walking clubs and a network of volunteer phone buddies to tackle loneliness.

M&S chief executive Steve Rowe said: "Marks & Spencer has been at the forefront of social change for 133 years and we're determined to play a leading role in the years ahead by taking positive action to enable customers and communities to live happier, healthier lifestyles. …

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