Give A Little Love: John Lewis extends charity support following successful Christmas campaign

John Lewis has pledged to continue its efforts to support families in need with a raft of initiatives designed to provide nutrition, warmth and comfort for the vulnerable over the third lockdown and beyond.

The John Lewis Partnership’s 2020 Christmas campaign helped raise over £3 million for charities Home-Start and FareShare, with staff, customers and communities all coming together to “Give A Little Love”… as its festive advert was called.

Now, despite its Christmas campaign finishing in December, the Partnership has pledged another £2 million along with extended support, pooling the expertise and passion of Partners, resources, networks and time to meet the needs of the most vulnerable during the current restrictions brought on by the pandemic.

The charities have confirmed that the need to support struggling families has never been greater. FareShare estimated that during the initial two months of the first lockdown, eight million people experienced food insecurity. Home-Start said it continues to see families facing isolation and struggling to provide basic needs such as heating and clothing.

JLP’s 2020 Christmas advert

Initially the JLP will work with both charities to explore ways to ensure much needed goods, such as food, warm clothing, blankets, pillows and stationery can be diverted to families in need.

Pippa Wicks, Executive Director of John Lewis, said: “The aim of our Christmas campaign was to harness the spirit of kindness we saw in the first lockdown and there’s no doubt that we achieved this. But families in need are facing a whole new set of pressures. Although Christmas is traditionally the time for giving, we believe we need to continue this spirit of kindness into the new year.”

FareShare said the fund had helped it assist food banks and it had delivered the equivalent of four million meals to local families, schools providing food for students, refuges and a wide range of other organisations. It had 3,000 volunteer registrations, up 364 per cent from 2019!

Similarly, Home-Start supported 10,000 families during the Christmas period – double the number it aims to reach. It also saw an influx of applications from would-be volunteers as soon as the John Lewis advert aired – with more than 1,000 people offering their help.

Peter Grigg, Chief Executive of Home-Start UK, said: “Give a Little Love has been a galvanising force in inspiring pride and kindness and has raised really important funds for Home-Start’s work. critical next phase will ensure we can play our part in standing alongside families who are struggling and provide emotional and practical support with heating, clothing, and human interaction.”