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M&S celebrates 30 years with £30,000 pledge to local school

M&S Lisburn Store Manager, JP McShane with colleagues at Brookfield Special School

Marks & Spencer Lisburn is this month marking its milestone 30th anniversary by supporting a local community project at Brookfield Special Educational Needs (SEN) School.

Brookfield Special Educational Needs (SEN) School, close to Moira, has been chosen as the store’s charity of the year with the aim of raising an impressive £30,000 to improve the school’s outdoor spaces and ensure they’re fit for purpose.

Since it first opened in March 1989, the store has been giving back to the community through its support of many local projects including Action Cancer and Macmillan Northern Ireland, but in its 30th year of trading the store manager wanted to celebrate with an initiative that would make a lasting difference.

Principal of Brookfield School, Barbara Spence said: “The needs of our pupils vary greatly from moderate to severe learning difficulties, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), speech and language difficulties, ADHD, ADD and Downs Syndrome. This means they are unable to cope with the noise levels and numbers of people using public play parks, so the outdoor spaces at the school are extremely important, helping to keep them calm as well as regulating their sensory and processing needs.

“This year, our Parent Staff Association (PSA) needed to raise a significant amount of money to help rebuild three climbing frames which are currently unfit for use. We are absolutely delighted that the M&S Lisburn store has chosen to support Brookfield and help to make our dream a reality.”

JP McShane, M&S Lisburn Store Manager said: “As we celebrate the store’s 30-year anniversary, it was really important for us to create meaningful change in the local Lisburn area. We’re really excited to come together and support Brookfield Special School, through both volunteering and fundraising. We hope our support will make a real difference to the local community and create a lasting impact for the school’s pupils.

“Our store team of 560 colleagues has been working with Brookfield Special School over the past couple of years, through our Making Every Moment Special in the Community initiative, helping to build a pathway access, alongside painting and maintenance in the playground and garden areas.”

The store team will be organising a series of in-store fundraising events throughout the coming months including cakes sales and bag packing, as well as a sponsored walk.

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