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This is not just any Christmas campaign...

This is an M&S Food Christmas campaign – with added magic. One incredible range of festive food. £2 million donated to UK charities. Nine world-famous icons (plus some very special M&S colleagues). Read on to discover how we’re giving back this Christmas…

M&S Christmas advert

Dame Helen Mirren's chosen charities

This year, we’re putting charity right at the heart of Christmas. We’re proud to announce that we’ll donate £2 million to good causes – with a little help from nine acting icons, some extra-special M&S colleagues and a sprinkling of M&S Food magic.

Our Christmas TV ads will feature voiceovers from nine superstars. Each member of the all-star cast has selected charities close to their hearts to which M&S Food will donate a total of £900,000 on their behalf – £100,000 for each acting icon.

Our New Year TV ad is voiced by Dame Helen Mirren and, on her behalf, we have donated £100,000, split equally between three amazing charities: Barnardo’sFreedom from Torture and Refuge.

“Sadly this winter, more families are at risk of poverty, while the pandemic is wreaking havoc on children’s mental health. Too many children across the UK risk missing out on the joy of the festive season. I’m hugely grateful to Dame Helen Mirren for her generous donation,” says Javed Khan, chief executive at Barnardo’s. 

Freedom from Torture say, “For over 30 years, through our services, we have been helping people who have survived torture recover from their trauma and live happier lives. This campaign and Dame Helen’s amazing generosity will help us keep vital services running and ensure survivors get the specialist support they need.”

“Domestic abuse is a crime that blights the lives of one in every four women in this country – it is a life and death issue. Refuge runs essential services across the country that, every day, support over 6,500 abused women and children,” says Lisa King, director of communications at Refuge. 

But that’s not all – we’ll also be selecting 10 M&S Food colleagues from across the UK who are passionate charity volunteers within their local communities and giving a £10,000 donation to each of their chosen charities

Watch the latest ad

Gillian Anderson’s chosen charities

Our big day festive ad is voiced by Gillian Anderson and on her behalf we’ve donated £100,000, split equally between three amazing charities: The Felix Project, Southall Black Sisters and Blueprint for All.

“At a time when more people are going hungry in our capital than ever, we are incredibly grateful to Marks & Spencer and Gillian Anderson for this generous donation, which will help to feed hundreds of thousands of people with good-quality, nourishing food over Christmas,” said Andy Holland, director of fundraising at The Felix Project.

Pragna Patel, director at Southall Black Sisters, said, “This year has been particularly challenging for front-line charities like ours working with vulnerable and abused women. This incredibly generous donation will allow us to make sure that no woman arriving at our door is left feeling desperate, isolated or rejected and without a safety net.”

“This donation will enable us to continue our increasingly vital work to create a fairer and more inclusive society in which everyone can succeed regardless of race, ethnicity or background,” said Sonia Watson, CEO of Blueprint for All (formerly known as the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust).

Watch the ad

M&S Christmas advert

M&S Christmas advert

Eddie Redmayne’s chosen charities

Our dazzling desserts ad is voiced by actor Eddie Redmayne and, on his behalf, we have donated £100,000, split equally between two amazing charities: akt and MND Association.

“This support will ensure that we continue to respond quickly and flexibly to the needs of young LGBTQ people who are facing increased hardship during the pandemic so that no young person has to choose between a safe home and being who they are,” said Carrie Reiners, deputy CEO of akt.

Sally Light, chief executive of MND Association, said, “We’ve supported thousands of people affected by motor neurone disease through a difficult year. Thanks to donations like this, we’re here to help those who need us during the festive season and beyond.”

Watch the pudding ad

Chiwetel Ejiofor’s chosen charity

Chiwetel Ejiofor brings to life two of our amazing Plant Kitchen festive delights in this mouth-watering festive ad. On his behalf, we’ve donated £100,000 to his chosen charity, the GEANCO Foundation.

“To be a beneficiary of Marks & Spencer’s iconic Christmas Food campaign is a great honour,” said Afam Onyema, CEO of the GEANCO Foundation. “We are deeply grateful for M&S’s generous support of our work in connection with Chiwetel Ejiofor’s participation in the campaign.”

Watch the Plant Kitchen ad

M&S Christmas advert

M&S Christmas advert

Jeremy Irons’ chosen charity

The fourth of our nine Christmas ads is voiced by Jeremy Irons and on his behalf we’ve donated £100,000, split equally between two incredible charities: The Hope Foundation and Irish Community Rapid Response.

Maureen Forrest, founder and honorary director of The Hope Foundation, said, “Hope is truly honoured and grateful to receive such a welcome donation. All of the Hope family are overwhelmed by the extraordinary generosity. This is truly an inspired and inspiring Christmas campaign.”

John Kearney, founder of Irish Community Rapid Response, said, “When a life-threatening accident occurs, time becomes your enemy. Irish Community Rapid Response can be there for you or your loved ones in your greatest time of need. With your support, we save lives.”

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Dame Julie Walters’ chosen charity

Our perfect party food ad is voiced by Dame Julie Walters, and on her behalf we’ve donated £100,000 to My Sisters’ House Women’s Centre.

Julie Budge, CEO and founder of My Sisters’ House Women’s Centre, said, “In a time of great change, one thing does not change: our support for women in difficulty or crisis. We are grateful to Dame Julie and to M&S for this incredible donation that will help us to empower more women to thrive, not just survive.”

Watch the ad

M&S Christmas advert

M&S Christmas advert

Naomie Harris’s chosen charities

Actress Naomie Harris is the voice of our second Christmas ad, which showcases two delicious foodie gifts. On her behalf, we’ve donated £100,000, split equally between two amazing charities: African Gifted Foundation and Intermission Youth.

Tom Ilube CBE, chair of African Gifted Foundation, said, “We are immensely grateful to Naomie Harris and M&S Food for this generous donation to support Africa’s leading science and maths (STEM) school for exceptionally gifted young women.”

“This has been an incredibly challenging time for young people,” said Sue Radford, executive director of Intermission Youth. “This gift will enable us to continue supporting them through drama and film, helping them increase their life skills, make positive choices, have their voices heard and become the best versions of themselves.”

Watch the gifting ad

Olivia Colman’s chosen charities

The first of our nine Christmas adverts features the iconic voice of Olivia Colman. She helps bring magical M&S Christmas food – our fancy-pants Collection mini beef and porcini Yorkshires, light-up snow globe gin, triple chocolate panettone and Our Best Ever smoked salmon – to life. We’ve donated a total of £100,000 on Olivia’s behalf, split equally between three brilliant charities: Tender, Back Up and Anthony Nolan. The charities’ executives shared a few words about what the donation means to them this year.

Susie McDonald, chief executive of Tender, said, “Tender believes kindness is key to healthy relationships. It is great to see this so clearly in action through M&S’s campaign; enabling charities to give support to those that need it the most.”

Abigail Lock, CEO of Back Up, said, “Olivia’s incredible donation helps ensure that whatever challenges we face in 2021, we can inspire people affected by spinal cord injury to get the most out of life.”

Henny Braund, chief executive of Anthony Nolan, said, “We’re so grateful to both M&S and our wonderful patron Olivia this Christmas for this generous donation that will help us add more than 800 new donors to the stem cell register.”

Watch the launch ad

M&S Christmas advert

Food for good

It’s not just our Christmas TV campaign that will help support some amazing causes this year.

We’ll also donate £500,000 to Together for Short Lives, funding vital work in lifeline children’s hospices, and more than £200,000 to Shelter, supporting their emergency helpline for those facing homelessness this Christmas.

Read on to find out more about how we’re helping these two very important causes this year, and what you can do to get involved.

Discover M&S Christmas food

Every one’s a cracker

We’ve teamed up with 12 of the UK’s best-loved comedians to create what are – in our opinion – the world’s funniest crackers! Created exclusively to support our charity partner Together for Short Lives, they contain jokes from the likes of Paddy McGuinness, Dawn French and Omid Djalili. Plus, the crackers will help us donate £100,000 to the charity this Christmas.

Now that’s something to smile about. Find the crackers in store and online.

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Tastes good, does good

This year, our festive food-to-go range will support two amazing charities: Shelter, which helps those living with homelessness, and Together for Short Lives, which helps 99,000 seriously ill children and their families in the UK make the most of the time they have together.

From our new-and-improved turkey feast to our Plant Kitchen no-turkey feast and some must-try new arrivals, such as our turkey curry wrap and truffled egg and honey-roast ham sandwich, discover this year’s epic range of Christmas sarnies, snacks and more in store.

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Give back with Sparks

M&S Sparks means you can make a difference every time you shop. Every time you scan your Sparks card, we’ll donate to your chosen charity – there are 35 to choose from.

This year, we’ve raised £7.3 million through Sparks – just one of the ways in which we’re committed to supporting good causes at M&S, at Christmas and beyond.

Join Sparks