M&S shares plans to support Cardiff’s new NHS Dragon’s Heart Hospital

M&S colleague Kellie Dunmow prepares NHS care packs

M&S has today shared plans to support Cardiff’s new NHS Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig, Dragon’s Heart Hospital with clothing care packs for patients, as NHS teams and hospitals across the country work to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The new facility, based in the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, will treat patients from across Wales, helping to save lives and protect the NHS.

M&S has been working with NHS teams and its longstanding hospital partners to understand how, as a clothing and food retailer, it can best help meet some of the needs of the fantastic frontline NHS teams and the patients in their care.

As a result, M&S is currently sourcing, packing and delivering much needed individual clothing care packs, and pairs of pyjamas, as a donation to the NHS Dragon’s Heart Hospital.

The individual care packs each contain a t-shirt, jumper, joggers, underwear and socks, and will be available in a range of sizes. The aim is that the clothing will help provide patients with some comfort and normality when they are discharged.

Allison Jenkins, Head of Region for Wales, said: 

“We’re doing our bit to help the NHS in Wales by focussing on what we do best – providing great clothes – in the hope we can make it just a little easier for our NHS heroes as well as the patients in their care. At a time when everyone is facing their own personal challenges and our own frontline colleagues are working round the clock – it’s heartening to see the whole nation getting behind the fantastic NHS teams we’re relying on right now. We really are all in this together and I’m delighted we have been able to support Cardiff’s new hospital during this time.”

Executive Nurse Director at Dragon’s Heart Hospital, Ruth Walker, said: 

“We would like to thank M&S for their very kind donation. It will be so lovely for our patients who are going home from Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig, The Dragon’s Heart Hospital to wear these lovely clothes when they are leaving our care.”

In further efforts to support local communities in Wales during the COVID-19 outbreak, M&S has kickstarted the Neighbourly Community Fund with an injection of £100,000 which is already seeing more than 12,000 people helped by 49 good causes and groups across the country. The scheme is helping to provide crucial emergency funding to deliver on-the-ground support to the most vulnerable. M&S stores across Wales are also working to redistribute surplus food and flowers to charities in their local area.

Those who have secured funding in Wales include the Moorland Star who are already partnered with M&S Cardiff and M&S Cardiff Avenue through the retailer’s food surplus redistribution scheme. The charity aims to make a difference to the community by providing a hot lunch to many people who could not otherwise afford a daily cooked meal. They provide a nutritional, balanced meal three days a week to people over the age of 50 in the community, offering a vibrant, safe place for people to socialise, interact and meet friends new and old.

As well as an initial £100k cash injection from the M&S family, vital funds for the scheme are also being raised by Sparks cards customers, who are able to select Neighbourly as their chosen Sparks charity when they shop with M&S in store or online.

Furthermore, M&S is donating to the NHS Charities Together COVID-19 Urgent Appeal, which is helping to fund essential support for NHS staff and volunteers caring for patients across the UK.

Making it easier for NHS teams to access what they need

M&S has also introduced steps to help make it easier for our NHS heroes to access the products and services they need quickly and easily.

It follows the introduction of special shopping hours for NHS, emergency service and health and social care workers every Tuesday and Friday during the first hour of trade and dedicated M&S Bank telephone banking hours from 6pm to 7pm every day.

M&S has also increased the size and product range of daily deliveries to its 46 hospital stores across the UK to help NHS workers access essential family products, including more meat, fish, produce and personal care items.

For more information on how M&S is supporting its customers, communities and colleagues, please visit: www.marksandspencer.com/c/allinthistogether