John Lewis and Waitrose Christmas appeal to support 100,000 struggling families

Catherine Gaunt
Saturday, October 31, 2020

Waitrose and John Lewis are hoping to raise £5m as part of a Christmas Campaign to support the charities FareShare and Home-Start, in their work with vulnerable families.

The charity FareShare, one of two charities supported by the campaign, has had to double the amount of food they provide since the pandemic started
The charity FareShare, one of two charities supported by the campaign, has had to double the amount of food they provide since the pandemic started

A major appeal will be launched in November, with the aim of providing a lifeline for 100,000 families.

The retailer said its Christmas campaign would be ‘like no other for a year like no other’, and the initiative will be complemented by the John Lewis and Waitrose festive ad.

The two charities will provide food, comfort, emotional support and advice to vulnerable families, the retailer said. FareShare helps those facing food poverty, and Home-Start works with parents who need support.

As well as financial giving, John Lewis and Waitrose said they wanted to shine a light on the long term need for kindness, in a country in which the Covid-19 pandemic will leave an indelible mark.  

In addition to charity donations, customers will be encouraged to support the campaign by showing kindness to someone who needs it or helping in their local community.

John Lewis and Waitrose will match donations up to £2m, and 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 heartwarming 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.’

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.’

Lindsay Boswell, chief executive at FareShare, added, ‘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.’

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.’

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