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Rochdale Marks & Spencer’s ‘make it matter’ for Springhill Hospice

Springhill Hospice’s Yorkshire Street charity shop is now brighter and lighter thanks to a “DIY SOS” style makeover by staff at Rochdale’s Marks & Spencer which brought in additional business support that saw it completely transformed.

The idea was part of M&S’s ‘Make it Matter’ day when volunteers from stores up and down the country gave up a day to ‘do something good’ in their local community.

Marks & Spencer in Rochdale has re-elected Springhill Hospice as its Charity of the Year for the second year running - but this year it came with a special challenge to organise a volunteering project for their nominated local charity. This was supported by a £500 pot of money to help fund the work which was matched by the Hospice.

The Yorkshire Street Hospice shop was selected as the chosen project and around a dozen M&S volunteers picked up their paintbrushes and rollers on the big day to give a much needed facelift to washed out walls and dark and dated display units. They also found time to help redesign the window displays and changing cubicle, with donations of everything from mannequins to providing lockers for the shop’s own volunteers.    

Fundraising activities by M&S in the first year raised over £5000 for the Hospice and Store Manager, Chris Parker said, “The intention is to do something good in the local community and to create a lasting benefit to our charity. Over 30 members of the team here in our Rochdale store volunteered in one way or another over the year. Springhill Hospice is important to our staff, to our customers and the community it serves and we are committed to doing whatever we can to support their vital work.”

As word got out about the project, employees from Rochdale Council’s Managed Property Services team came forward to donate their time, to carry out electrical and joinery work in the shop with materials donated free of charge by local businesses. This included replacement tiles and fixings for the suspended ceiling, the installation of new energy efficient LED lighting, refurbished counter tops and display units as well as completely new carpeting throughout the shop which was supplied and fitted by Whitefield’s Winton Flooring.

Winton’s Commercial Director, John Marsh said of the donation, “When we heard of this extremely worthwhile project we were very happy to give it our support and we are glad to be able to play our part in supporting the work of the Hospice.”

Other business support came from LED Group ROBUS, The Electric Center, Rochdale Electrical Distributors (RED), Richard Jones Building Ltd, Howdens Joinery, Abbey Architectural Ironmongery, Howarth Timber & Building Supplies and Lancashire Wallpaper & Paints. 

Julie Halliwell, Chief Executive at Springhill Hospice said, “We were thrilled to have been chosen by our friends at Marks & Spencer for this second year, to learn of the plans for the Make it Matter project and to have the opportunity to benefit from this exciting nationwide initiative. The result has been wonderful and the support received quite overwhelming. It really will provide a long lasting legacy for the Hospice.” 

After a weekend of preparation from the Hospice’s own fundraising and retail teams and a mammoth effort by M&S volunteers, the newly renovated shop was officially reopened by the Mayor and Mayoress of Rochdale, Councillor and Mrs Ian Duckworth, at which Julie Halliwell presented Marks & Spencer’s Chris Parker with honorary membership of the Hospice’s Business Buddies scheme with thanks and recognition of their excellent and ongoing support.

The Springhill Hospice shop is located at No. 136, at the top of Yorkshire Street and is open Monday to Saturday. There is on-street parking available and two short stay car parks close by offering up to three hours parking for free. For enquiries or to make a donation to the shop ring 01706 347035.  

Photo captions:

Reopening the Yorkshire Street shop, left to right, Hospice Chief Executive Julie Halliwell, the Mayor and Mayoress of Rochdale, M&S Manager Chris Parker, Hospice Retail Manager Suzanne Ryder and Gary Pilkington from Rochdale Council

The Marks & Spencer volunteer team at work

Julie Halliwell presents Chris Parker with honorary membership of the Hospice’s Business Buddies scheme.