Green fingered volunteers from Marks and Spencer’s Harrogate store recently volunteered their time to help transform two overgrown local gardens.


11 employees from the central Harrogate store teamed up with the Help at Home service, which offers practical support to older and vulnerable residents across the district. The staff assisted with weeding, pruning and cutting back overgrown hedges in two local gardens, whose residents

had been struggling with their upkeep. The team also found time to re-paint a garage door and re-st

ock one of the gardens with some new plants.

The volunteering was part of the national Marks and Spencer ‘Making Every Moment Special in the Community’ initiative, under which employees are encouraged to give back a working day each year to their local community. The company additionally donated £500 to the project for materials, which has paid for a new telescopic ladder to enable the team to tackle tall hedges and paint high ceilings.

M&S employee, George Sunderland, who co-ordinated the volunteering day, commented: “We had an amazing day and are really keen to come back and do some more volunteering with this much-needed local service. It was astonishing to see how just a few hours made such a difference to these gardens and their residents.”

Christine Turner, Help at Home Service Co-ordinator, added: “We are 

extremely grateful to all the M&S volunteers. They worked really hard, and with a smile on their faces, to make such a difference to our grateful cl

ients. Their efforts have saved our small team several days work, freeing up their time to help other local residents on our waiting list.”

Over the past year, Help at Home has carried out over 350 gardening, decorating and odd jobs for people who can’t manage the tasks themselves and live without a local support network. The service is part of the HELP charity, which also provides a voluntary car driving service and befriending service to assist local people, who are either older, vulnerable or living with long-term health conditions, to remain living independently.