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PRESS RELEASE: Struggling families to benefit Waitrose and John Lewis launch Christmas 2020 campaign

Local family support charity, Home-Start Wyre Forest, to benefit from major Christmas campaign.

Waitrose and John Lewis have unveiled this year’s Christmas advertising campaign, which - inspired by the kindness shown by the British public during the pandemic - encourages viewers to ‘Give A Little Love’ to others and support leading family support charity Home-Start, and UK’s largest food redistribution charity, FareShare.

Home-Start Wyre Forest is one of over 180 local, independent charities that make up the Home-Start network across the UK.

The advertising is one element of a major campaign by the two retailers, which also launches today, on National Kindness Day, under the strapline ‘Give A Little Love’. The campaign aims to make a lasting difference to some of those hit hardest during 2020.

Since the pandemic started over one third of local Home-Starts - local community networks of trained volunteers and expert support who help families with young children through their challenging times - have seen an increase in demand for its services and FareShare has had to double the amount of food it distributes to meet the rising demand.

Home-Start Wyre Forest have been there for families when they’ve needed support most. As part of a network of 180 Home-Starts across the country Home-Start Wyre Forest have moved essential support services on-line to stay connected with families through their team of 77 volunteers– staying connected with families, providing emotional and practical support, and linking families into other community services such as their local foodbanks. We have seen social distancing and isolation placing enormous strain on families. This support from Waitrose and John Lewis and their customers will allow Home-Start and FareShare to help more families in Wyre Forest.

The pandemic has been toughest on those already struggling, but across the country communities have come together to support those in need. In that spirit of generosity, Home-Start is encouraging people to support Give A Little Love this Christmas by giving their time, money and voice to the campaign.

Waitrose and John Lewis customers will be encouraged to give a little love in five different ways; making a charity donation, buying campaign products with 100% of profit donated to the charities, using their loyalty card to increase the Partnership’s donation, giving a little love to someone they know who needs it and helping in their local community.

Customer donations up to the value of £2m will be match funded by a donation from the John Lewis Partnership. A further £1m will be donated by the retailers’ shops who are actively partnering with FareShare and Home-Start and a range of local family charities in the communities they serve.

Peter Grigg, Chief Executive at Home-Start, said: “Families are running on empty. The pandemic has been hard for all families, but it’s been toughest on those already facing challenges around mental health, low incomes, and other challenges in their lives. I have been overwhelmed by the kindness shown in our communities during the pandemic, but I know there is so much more to do. That is why I am so proud that John Lewis and Waitrose are supporting Home-Start with this amazing campaign. With the help of John Lewis and Waitrose Partners and customers we will be able to work with more families when they need us most.”

James Bailey, Executive Director of Waitrose, said: “The pandemic has highlighted the growing inequalities across the country, with those who are already most vulnerable disproportionately impacted. Through our partnerships with FareShare and HomeStart we’re aiming to make a big difference to the lives of 100,000 families in the UK.

“Each year festive adverts come and go - and some are remembered more vividly than others. But our advertising this year will leave a lasting legacy - and in that way, we hope it won’t just be for Christmas.”

“We did consider whether it was right to produce an ad this year at all. However, FareShare and Home-Start told us how much of a difference this campaign could make, both on a financial level and in raising awareness of the incredibly important work they do with families across the UK.”

Pippa Wicks, Executive Director of John Lewis, said: “We recently set out our ambition for our business to be a force for good - so we decided that this year was the year to break the mould and do something different.

“We have a long tradition of helping support the communities which we serve, so as we launch one of the best loved assets, our Christmas ad, it’s fitting to take this one step further by working hand in hand with two incredible charities supporting families in need.

“We were humbled by the kindness shown by the British public during the pandemic. We want this campaign to be uplifting and to inspire everyone to give some kindness in their own way this Christmas, especially to those who need it most. The pandemic has proved that it’s our small acts of love and kindness, particularly in challenging times, that captures what it is to be human; and when one small act of kindness multiplies it can have a lasting impact

Lindsay Boswell, Chief Executive at FareShare, said: “This year has been incredibly tough for so many and FareShare has seen the need for our food skyrocket. The number of charities and community groups applying to receive food through FareShare has more than doubled and 90% of the organisations we work with expect demand to remain the same as at peak crisis levels, or even increase through the winter.

“We continue to provide over two million meals per week to vulnerable communities across the UK, and more than two thirds of the food we distribute goes to children and families, so we know that there is a real need for our work at this time.

“We are so thrilled to be partnering with Waitrose and John Lewis, which will help raise awareness of the work FareShare does in supporting thousands of families every day. The extensive nature of this joint partnership is remarkable and will enable us to have a big impact on the lives of so many during the tough months ahead.”

ENDS

For more information:

Belinda Darby Manager Home-Start Wyre Forest 01562 825896 belinda@homestartwyreforest.org.uk

Notes to editors

Home-Start Wyre Forest has been supporting local families for 25 years and can offer emotional and practical help to families with children aged 0-18 years in the Wyre Forest.

About Home-Start UK

Home-Start is a local community network of trained volunteers and expert support helping families with young children through their challenging times. Families struggling with postnatal depression, isolation, physical health problems, bereavement and many other issues receive the support of a volunteer who will spend around two hours a week in a family’s home supporting them in the ways they need.

Across all four nations of the United Kingdom, 13,500 home-visiting volunteers support over 27,000 families and 56,000 children to transform their lives. There are over 180 local, independent Home-Starts working in 71% of local authority areas across the UK. www.home-start.org.uk

Registered Charity Number : 1120436
A company limited by guarantee Number : 5419029