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John Lewis Partnership To Donate 1m To Loneliness Charities

John Lewis Christmas Store Venus Fly Trap
  • Waitrose and John Lewis shops across the UK set to support ‘Connections at Christmas’ 
  • Hundreds of local charities supporting thousands of elderly, homeless and young people to benefit from Christmas donations
  • The Community Matters flagship scheme, which responds to local people in need, celebrates 15 years, donating over £40m to date

The John Lewis Partnership is aiming to donate over £1m to help spread Christmas cheer to people who may otherwise be excluded from festive events and celebrations. 

Social isolation impacts all ages and all walks of life, with 1.5 million older people feeling more lonely at Christmas* than any other time of the year. Hundreds of thousands of children whose parents are struggling financially could be at risk of missing out on fun festive activities and homeless people may feel especially excluded from society at this time of year. 

The community giving scheme, Community Matters, marks 15 years of  supporting people in need across the UK this year. 

Each Waitrose and John Lewis shop is provided with a budget and the Partners (employees) who work there decide how best it can benefit their local community under a specific theme. 

The latest theme is ‘Connections at Christmas’, which will support charities and groups in whichever way will benefit them the most, either in the form of products or as cash.

Lindsey Crompton, Lead on Social Impact & Health for the Partnership, comments: “We don’t want anyone to miss out on time with others at Christmas. We hope these donations will help to spread the festive joy.  Feeling isolated or excluded at any time of year takes its toll mentally but Christmas is when it's at its harshest. Partners who work in our shops are passionate about supporting people in their communities all year round but particularly want to make a real difference to many people’s Christmas experience.”

One of the charities receiving a donation is The Felix Project, who help to combat child hunger across London. The funding given by local Waitrose shops and John Lewis Oxford Street will be helping families in need to have christmas lunch together, as well as enabling school children in London to eat nutritious meals. In the New Year, Partners from London Waitrose shops will be volunteering at The Felix Project’s food prep kitchens across London.

John Lewis Trafford have donated £1,600 to Together Dementia Support to help fund a Christmas gathering for carers of people living with Dementia in their local community and a further £1,600 to Cyril Flint, a befriending charity based in Trafford. The charity is using this funding to help support two  festive events for their service users and volunteers to help connect together this Christmas.

Another vital service benefiting is The Brunswick Club for Young People who provide a safe and friendly environment in which young people can develop their physical, creative, mental, and social skills through leisure time activities. The donation from Waitrose will go towards their Christmas party for over 200 young people from 7-19 years of age.

Tracey Crouch MP, Chair of the Tackling Loneliness & Connected Communities APPG, comments: "I am delighted to see the John Lewis Partnership plans to donate over £1 million to help tackle loneliness and isolation this Christmas. I am sure their efforts will bring joy and much-needed support by connecting people in communities across the UK so they can enjoy the very essence of Christmas."

*Age UK statistics published online here.

Source : John Lewis Partnership

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06 December 2023

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