We’re donating £1 million to
The Neighbourly Foundation*
This year’s TV ad is a joyous, feelgood story about giving and features some very special people from local communities near you. Neighbourly has links to more than 20,000 good causes and we’re working with them to support 1,000 community groups right across England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. You’ll spot a few of them in our Christmas ad – and you can meet some of them here
*(charity no. 1189514)
Kaotic Angels is a community group of serving and former military personnel, police, firefighters, ambulance workers and other frontline emergency responders – all on a mission to change lives. A passion for motorbikes and helping others has brought this biker group together. They’ve fed the homeless, delivered meals during the pandemic, renovated a blind veteran’s home and helped underprivileged children. They’ve even provided Christmas goodies to a family fleeing domestic abuse. And they do all this while juggling jobs in the hope that they’ll challenge negative public perceptions around the biking community and what they stand for.
“We want to change the negative stereotypes of bikers – we have huge caring hearts and are not at all scary” – Grant Prest, Kaotic Angels
The Mintridge Foundation in Corby (but operating nationwide) was founded in 2015 with the objective of providing positive sporting role models for children and young people to help them improve their physical and mental health and wellbeing. The foundation’s extensive network of Olympians, Paralympians and professional sports stars all act as mentors, providing help via physical education. The benefits of this high-profile sports mentoring include improved confidence, increased resilience and an enhanced awareness of the importance of physical and mental health in youngsters of all ages, abilities and capabilities.
“It’s hard to describe the feeling of helping young people through sport: the impact is so far-reaching” – Alex Wallace, Mintridge Foundation
Kearsley Youth Brass Band was set up in 2010 and relies on donations to support people of all ages to learn how to play an instrument. Income is no barrier: instruments and tuition are provided free of charge to anyone who wants to join. All members have to do is show a commitment to rehearse – and access to music is theirs. Despite its name, the group boasts members aged between 10 and 83 and they all work together to perform at local events, giving back to their community in more ways than one.
Valley Invicta Primary School Majorettes is an exciting after-school club in East Borough, near Maidstone. Currently made up of 12 girls, it’s the brainchild of a former European majorette champion whose aim was to share her passion for baton twirling and introduce this activity to as wide an audience of youngsters as possible. Prior to appearing in our national TV advertising campaign, the girls had only ever performed to fellow students and staff in their school playground, but they are thinking big and hope that – by showcasing their skills – they can encourage people of all backgrounds to join in the fun and promote diversity.
“Being part of this means support when it’s needed and joining together to celebrate diversity” – Stephanie Clarke, Valley Invicta Primary School Majorettes
The Bengali Sanskriti Club in Peterborough is made up of about 70 local Bengali families who have moved to the UK from different parts of India. The aim of the group is to help young and old to interact, enjoy group activities and socialise. It includes the female-founded dance group, Ritu Ranga, which means 'colours of the seasons'. Members of this vibrant group meet up for rehearsals and hold local performances with the aim of bringing the community closer together.
“The group helps children and the elderly to interact and makes me feel connected to my culture” – Anamika Ghosh, Bengali Sanskriti Club
Caenhill Countryside Centre is a not-for-profit community project that operates as an animal rescue centre with the aim of helping young people and those in care. Set on a 70-acre farm, it’s run by a team of volunteers aged between four and 86. As well as looking after livestock, the Caenhill team runs courses focusing on wellbeing and education. Their mission is to bring countryside learning and sustainability messages to children, young people and the local community at large, while caring for abandoned and unwanted animals.
For more than 30 years, Paddington Arts has been helping young people to develop their artistic talents and channel their creativity to promote self-expression, confidence and a sense of community. The London-based arts organisation uses drama, dance, singing, music, carnival arts, video and new media to help young people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. For many aged between six and 26, it’s been life changing, even helping them with career progression. The current deputy director joined the group at the age of 11 and can attest to the power of making the arts accessible to all. Fully inclusive, Paddington Arts has a wide programme of mainstream activities that have been designed especially for young people living with disabilities.
“The group changed my life, because it gave me a sense of belonging” – Eldora Edward, Paddington Arts
The Y Centre is host to an award-winning community of roller-skaters and skate performers, dedicated to offering a safe and welcoming environment for children and young people in the local area of Hastings. The volunteers at the Y Centre help to encourage youngsters’ self-development and confidence by making access to skating affordable and by offering the opportunity to learn and improve their skills. This all boosts their self-esteem, allows them to make new friends and be more active and, importantly, have fun.
"We provide low-cost and free activities to young people who might otherwise not be able to access them. It’s like being part of a family, regardless of who you are" – Judith Monk, Hastings & Rother YMCA chairperson
Together with Neighbourly, we’re supporting 1,000 community groups across the UK
M&S are donating £1 million to The Neighbourly Foundation
(charity no. 1189514)