November 2020

Struggling families to benefit as Waitrose and John Lewis launch Christmas 2020 campaign

Suffolk family support charity, Home-Start in Suffolk, 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 in Suffolk 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, 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 in Suffolk have been there for families when they’ve needed support most for more than 20 years. As part of a network of 180 Home-Starts across the country Home-Start in Suffolk have moved essential support services on-line to stay connected with families through their team of more than 250 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 Suffolk.

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.

Home-Start in Suffolk CEO, Tara Spence said: “This year has been particularly challenging for everyone. Suffolk is an area with lots of hidden needs and we have seen more and more families needing our support across our county. Our amazing team of volunteers have worked extremely hard, in new ways, to ensure families have the help they have needed.
“The Waitrose and John Lewis Christmas campaign is somewhat an institution during the festive period, and we feel privileged to be part of this and the new corporate partnership. We are really looking forward to working with our local branches in the coming weeks and months.”

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.”