Food and fashion retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) has brought together a 600-strong team of IT executives to participate in a community initiative next month.

The group, which is made up of staff at the M&S IT department and suppliers Cognizant, Microsoft, RDC, ReThink, SAP, Logicalis and Tata Consultancy Services, will take part in various charitable projects as part of a major corporate social responsibility drive.

On 19 November, volunteers will help care home residents reconnect with their past using social media and new technology. There will also be a carbon-offsetting exercise in St Albans that will see 10,000 trees planted in Heartwood Forest in association with the Woodland Trust.

M&S CIO Darrell Stein will be involved in the proceedings, and he said: "More so than ever before, IT can inspire both young and old and we intend to use this power to support local communities and make a difference where it matters."