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31 October 2020
As the nation prepares to enter one of the most uncertain Christmases of recent times, Waitrose and John Lewis has announced a major partnership with FareShare and Home-Start UK.
Motivated by the plight of so many who have found it difficult to provide for their families or are struggling to cope in a year like none other, the retailers are preparing to launch a major campaign to provide a lifeline for at least 100,000 families.
The initiative will support FareShare and Home-Start, and together the two charities will provide food, comfort, emotional support and advice to vulnerable families.
A major appeal will be launched in November aiming to raise £5m for FareShare, Home-Start and other local charities. As well as financial giving, Waitrose and John Lewis want to shine a light on the long term need for kindness throughout the UK.
The two retailers will also be encouraging staff and customers to spread kindness in their own communities - everything from volunteering to a thoughtful gesture, not just over Christmas but beyond. This spirit of kindness will be brought to life in Waitrose and John Lewis shops with surprise acts of generosity towards customers.
Customers will be encouraged to support the campaign in one of five different ways:
A further fund of over £1m has also been created to ensure all of the retailers’ shops will be actively partnering with FareShare and Home-Start and a range of local disadvantaged family charities in the communities they serve.
Pippa Wicks, Executive Director of John Lewis & Partners, said: “In a year like no other, the world has changed - so we will be delivering a Christmas campaign like no other. During 2020 we’ve seen some inspiring and heart-warming acts of kindness throughout our country and our communities. Now we want to build on this spirit to create a legacy that extends well beyond Christmas. Together we can all make a big difference to the families who need our help most.”
James Bailey, Executive Director of Waitrose & Partners, said: “This year has created even greater inequality in society with a catastrophic effect on some of the most vulnerable, and we are determined to play our part in addressing this. Everyone has a right to nourishment and a safe, warm home and we believe that as a Partnership, we can be an enduring force for good, which lasts well beyond Christmas. We don’t just want to talk about it, we want every customer, community and Partner to show their kindness in supporting these causes.”
Lindsay Boswell, chief executive at FareShare, said: “In what has been an incredibly tough year for so many, more people than ever are turning to local charities and community groups for support because they simply can’t afford the food they need to feed their families and themselves. At FareShare, the demand for food has more than doubled as a result of the pandemic so this partnership comes at such a crucial time. We are so delighted to partner with Waitrose and John Lewis to provide support for the thousands of people in need across the UK in the run up to Christmas and over the winter months.”
Peter Grigg, chief executive of Home-Start UK said: “We have all seen first-hand how the pandemic is pushing families to the edge, especially those already facing challenges in their lives. Home-Start is there for families when they need us most and we have been overwhelmed by the kindness shown in our communities during the pandemic. But there is so much more to do. Working with John Lewis Partnership colleagues, customers and communities, we can reach more families and communities at this vital time. We are proud to be a partner in this exciting ambition to transform the lives of thousands of families and children this Christmas and beyond.”