Struggling families get help thanks to Waitrose donation to Banbury and Chipping Norton charity

Local family support charity, Home-Start Banbury, Bicester and Chipping Norton is to benefit from a major Christmas campaign.

Jane Skelton, senior organiser for Home-Start Banbury and Chipping Norton
Jane Skelton, senior organiser for Home-Start Banbury and Chipping Norton

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 Banbury, Bicester and Chipping Norton is one of over 180 local, independent charities that make up the Home-Start network across the UK.

Home-Start Banbury, Bicester and Chipping Norton have been there for families when they’ve needed support most. During the Covid emergency, the organisation has moved essential support services on-line to stay connected with families through their team of 57 volunteers.

This has allowed them to stay connected with families, provide emotional and practical support, and link families into other community services such as their local foodbanks.

"We have seen social distancing and isolation placing enormous strain on families," said Banbury's senior organiser for Home-Start Banbury and Chipping Norton.

"This support from Waitrose and John Lewis and their customers will allow our local Home-Start to show a little love to local families this Christmas by providing pamper packs for mothers and gifts and activity packs for their children.

"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 per cent of profit donated to the charities, using their loyalty card to increase the Partnership’s donation and by doing so, 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.

Mrs Skelton 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.

"We have been overwhelmed by the kindness shown in our communities during the pandemic but we know there is so much more to do. That is why we are 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.”

Emma Walker of Waitrose Banbury, said: "Waitrose Banbury is very excited to work with a wonderful organisation and support families. A reminder that 1p will be donated every time a customer scans their MyWaitrose card and the partnership will match all donations via the app, online or text up to £2 million."