We know that many people across the country suffer from a sense of social 'isolation' - caused by a lack of social or family contact, a disability, or limited access to community involvement or to services. Social isolation impacts on health and wellbeing at different stages of life and brings with it significant costs to health and social care services. We aim to create an inclusive and accessible shopping experience and run and support a number of programmes that enhance social connections.

Outside of John Lewis Leeds Community Hub room
Community Hub, John Lewis, Leeds

Our shops are playing an increasingly important role in local communities, as a place where people feel welcome and can meet others. We offer our training rooms or specially designed Community Hubs for members of the community to use for free. John Lewis Leeds' Community Hub opened in October 2016 and Waitrose branches in  Uttoxeter, Worcester and Comely Bank also opened hubs in 2016. So far, these have been used mostly for meetings by charities and community groups, but they have also been used to host exhibitions to showcase local talent.

Just Enough UK was the first to use the new Community Hub in the Waitrose Comely Bank store to run a workshop where children created posters about Modern Slavery. Tina Varns, Manager, Sustainability and Responsible Sourcing said, 'the posters were then featured at the launch of Just Enough Scotland, which was attended by representatives of the Edinburgh Council Human Trafficking Sub Group, Specialist Crime Division and Safer Communities. It was a fantastic launch and there was much interest from the general public.'

To find out more about how to book these spaces - please contact your local Waitrose or John Lewis branch.