Bright sparks make a world of difference

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Volunteers sprinkled their magic across South Tyneside to help the community.

Spark Something Good helpers helped transform Ridgeway Primary Academy’s library in South Shields and also spruced up Sandhaven Beach - by removing 15 bags of rubbish.

The inattentive, by retailers Marks and Spencer, is ground-breaking eco and ethical programme, which aims to inspire staff and customers to take action for social good by donating time to their local communities to help improve lives.

The borough was one of the first areas to benefit from the project, which will take place across 24 cities in the UK and Ireland over the course of 24 months and will see 24 projects benefit in each location.

Nikki McKidd, store manager at M&S Newcastle said: “It’s fantastic to see so many locals come out to support the M&S Spark Something Good initiative in the Newcastle area and in South Shields in particular.

“All hands were on deck on Saturday at Ridgeway Primary Academy and Sunday’s beach clean at Sandhaven was a huge success, with 50 volunteers removing 15 bags of rubbish from the shoreline.”

There was a real sense of energy

Michael McCarthy

Youngsters at Ridgeway will be delighted to see their new library when they return to school in September.

Not only will they have more space, but they will recognise some colourful storybook characters, including the Gruffalo, adorning the walls.

Michael McCarthy, headteacher at Ridgeway, said: “There was a real sense of energy on Saturday as everyone came together to Spark Something Good for our school and we are very grateful to M&S and local volunteers for spending their weekend helping us to create a better, more vibrant library for our pupils.

“I look forward to seeing everyone’s face light up when they see if for the first time after the school holidays and more than that, we hope this experience helps to inspire our pupils after they see what those who volunteered have helped us create!”