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Marks Spencer chooses Norwich to pilot scheme to tackle loneliness The chain will work with council and charity partners on the Plan A 2025 scheme, with the lessons learned at 10 pilot stores being rolled out to a further 1,000 across the country by 2025.

In Norwich, staff have already chosen to support the St Martin's Housing Trust, and have been volunteering at the homelessness charity's Webster Court facilities, while a burberry wallet outlet price jubilee themed party on Monday will celebrate the work done by the Royal Voluntary Service in combating loneliness in the city. Norwich was chosen for the pilot after research showed the city had areas where employment and aspiration were low, and such an initiative could make a difference, said finance and operations manager Graeme Hawken. "Everybody recognises what a large business can do for its local community. We have the opportunity to reach a lot of people and we think we can make a big impact in the community," he said. "Our staff chose St Martin's Housing Trust because many of them were doing lots of little things individually now we have lots of people doing even more." The 397 strong Norwich store is the second biggest in the country by floor space, and sees more than 100,000 customers pass through its doors a week. The programme is supported by Norwich City Council, Business in the Community, Royal Voluntary Service, The Silver Line, Power to Change, burberry discount outlet online Frazzled Cafe and Neighbourly. Steve Rowe, Chief Executive of Marks Spencer said: "We've looked at what matters to communities, which are issues like access to work place skills, social inclusion, support for mental health problems and believe we can play a key role and make a real will burberry have sale difference to community life. "We're starting with ten so that we can learn, adapt and develop an agile approach that will allow us to support 1,000 communities by 2025." What do you think of the scheme? You can leave your comments below. Marks Spencer hopes that if successful, the project pioneered in Norwich could be rolled out to 1,000 stores by 2025. The department store gives staff a day a year to spend working with good causes. In recent weeks, many have given their time to volunteering with the St Martin's Housing Trust to help redecorate its facilities, as well as donating crockery and other items. Experts from the shop's visual merchandising team have also been advising charity shops around the city on techniques to improve their displays in order to sell more of their donations. The M food department donates its unused produce to the charity FoodCycle, which feeds more than 60 people a week at the Friends Meeting House on Upper Goat Lane. As well as Norwich, burberry blue the pilot is also running in Birmingham, Bradford, Glasgow, Liverpool, Derry, Middlesborough, Newham in London, Merthyr Tydfil and Rochdale. Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Norwich Evening News visitors.

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