For volunteers week 2019 (1st – 7th June) a brilliant team from M&S Kingsditch and Cheltenham High Street stores joined The Door’s youthwork team, volunteers from Stonehouse Town Council and young people to give The Pod Youth Centre on Oldends Lane a fresh new look. Cleaning, painting, gardening and furnishing the centre to make it the perfect youth club venue.
The Door provides safe spaces and a listening ear to young people aged 11-25 and their families in Stonehouse and throughout the Stroud district. Alongside youth clubs for 11-17 year olds they offer mentoring, family support and specific sessions for 16-25 year olds seeking work or further education.
The Door, founded in 1991 has been helping the community for 28 years and supports over 1000 young people every year.
The volunteers were 14 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 volunteer projects all help young people as a grou
p that M&S and its customers feel passionate about supporting. As well as The Door 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.
Pamela Swain, Stonehouse Town Councillor said “It is just so exciting when large companies get involved with communities at the grass roots level. The M&S staff that I met painting The Pod this week have done an amazing job. We are really grateful to them and to the Door for organising this redecoration project.”
John Williams, Community Youthwork Coordinator for Stroud and Stonehouse said “Volunteering is such an important part of serving the communities that we work in. The guys from M&S have been brilliant. The Centre is as good as new! When the young people came back after the painting was completed they were really excited to see the new centre ‘’
Joe, aged 14 said ‘This is dank, I didn’t think it would be done this well.’
Clare, aged 16 said ‘The red and grey work so well together, and I really love the new chairs.’
Olly from M&S Kingsditch said: “We’re really proud to be coming together as a team to support The Door. At M&S we care passionately about supporting young people in our community. Giving young people a safe space to come and enjoy themselves and be listened to is something we know our customers care about too and we were really pleased to be able to get stuck into the refurb with the other volunteers. 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 Stonehouse.”
The Door 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/VolunteerWeek
Follow the conversation online by searching the hashtag #MarksInAction.