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M&S Darlington Inspires Crook Pupils to Think Green in their Local Community


Mar 21, 2018

M&S Darlington has teamed up with St. Cuthbert’s RC Primary school in Crook to help year four pupils learn how to respect and protect the environment around them.

M&S Darlington’s Heritage Ambassadors, Sarah Dickson and Sarah Hughes, visited the school to share insights into M&S’s own sustainability practices, and inspire pupils to be greener at school and home by recycling and buying locally sourced products.

Throughout the year, the Ambassadors will visit St Cuthbert’s three times, delivering talks and workshops to pupils on retailing, employability, product innovation and sustainable and ethical business. These workshops are underpinned by examples and insights from across M&S’s history as a high street retailer, drawing specifically on its ethical and environmental programme, Plan A. The sessions complement the school’s curriculum and existing efforts to teach pupils valuable life lessons and practical tips on things like recycling and the world of work.

In addition to her role as customer assistant at M&S Darlington, Sarah Dickson works with local community groups and schools throughout the region to share knowledge and experience from the retailer.

Sarah Dickson, M&S Heritage Ambassador, said: “Visiting schools like St. Cuthbert’s, engaging with the children and introducing them to the ethos behind M&S and Plan A is incredibly rewarding. We challenge the children to think about how they can make a real difference to the world around them, finding new ways to make their school and classroom more eco-friendly, as well as increase current levels of recycling.

St. Cuthbert’s RC Primary School Head Mistress, Rosaleen Donnelly said: “The Ambassadors from M&S really got the pupils thinking. It’s incredibly valuable to know where our food and clothes come from, and understand the impact of the products we buy and use on the environment. Hearing about the real differences that M&S is making, both in the UK and abroad, is truly inspiring for the pupils, who have come up with a number of fun and easy ideas to help reduce their impact on the environment”

Sam, a pupil at St. Cuthbert’s RC Primary school said: “I really enjoyed the workshop, we learned lots about M&S and all about recycling. Everyone needs to recycle! I do it at home. I put plastic and paper in the blue bin. If you litter it won’t help the environment.”

The majority of Crook is a designated conservation area. Inspiring the next generation to look after the local environment will have a positive impact on the future of the town just as locals are committed to protecting its heritage. M&S hopes by engaging with pupils, who can then motivate their parents and families to do the same, we can help Crook and other communities like it become more sustainable.

The M&S Heritage Ambassador scheme enables stores to build meaningful and rewarding relationships with their local communities. Store colleagues are trained to deliver free, curriculum-linked workshops for primary school pupils, bringing the past and present of M&S to life in the classroom. There are over 50 M&S Heritage Ambassadors working with schools around the country, to find out more please contact the M&S Company Archive on 02087182800 companyarchive@marks-and-spencer.com

By Emily