M&S Partnership

YLF is delighted to have been chosen as Charity of the Year for the Marks & Spencer Hempstead Valley store!

Earlier in the year, you may remember reading that M&S supported us in redecorating some of the office space to make it a more inviting and welcoming building for the staff, volunteers and young people to enjoy. Now, the M&S team at the Hempstead Valley store have decided to support YLF further and have officially named us as their chosen charity for the year, devoting 12 months of support including staff fundraisers, on-hand support and in-store opportunities!

To launch our partnership, 10 of our young people were invited to a work experience day in store with M&S – an opportunity for some of our older young people and care leavers to experience work and be able to use this as a spring-board in gaining the skills and confidence needed in the world of work.

The day was an eye-opener for all. An insight to the history of M&S gave the young people a firm understanding of how a business operates and was a great introduction to their day. Then followed an interview skills session, giving them first hand experience of what it would be like to be interviewed and inducted into a working environment, and in true ‘Apprentice’ style, the young people were even tasked with presenting a sales pitch using a selection of M&S products.

Later in the afternoon the young people experienced a real flavour of working by buddying up with M&S staff and working on the shop floor. From clothing, to the food hall to the café, they really got stuck in to their given tasks and these sessions helped to develop customer service and problem solving skills.

It was a fantastic day and YLF is incredibly grateful to the M&S Hempstead Valley store for giving some of our young people this opportunity – an opportunity some of young people would not have had otherwise,

We look forward to what the rest of the year will bring!

“I really want to get a job here, the people that work here are so kind.” Vicky

“Such a fun day and I have learned a lot about work, it’s well hard!” Kay

“What a lovely group of young people, today has been a pleasure and so lovely to meet you all. You can come and help out any time you like, it’s been a pleasure.” – M&S staff