Inclusion

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.

Two Waitrose Partners serving Christmas lunch at one of their local community Christmas lunches
Waitrose continued its efforts to combat isolation again this year by supporting local community Christmas lunches throughout the festive season for 15,000 elderly, homeless and vulnerable people.

Loneliness is a real challenge facing society. Through Community Matters, Waitrose supports good causes, including those who organise lunch clubs and other social activities to bring local people together.

Supporting foodbanks

Since 2014, permanent collection points have been present in Waitrose core stores for donations to The Trussell Trust network of foodbanks. In 2016/17 the equivalent of over 1 million meals were donated by Waitrose customers.

To extend our support, this year Waitrose began a three-year sponsorship, encouraging Partners and customers to raise money by hosting a 'Tea for Trussell' tea party. The initiative will help fund vital services such as the Trust's 'More Than Food' programme. This aims to tackle the underlying causes of poverty by offering immediate help at the point of crisis. Waitrose will also be helping fund Trussell Trust's 'Eat Well Spend Less' courses, which cover basic cookery, budgeting and nutrition.

'I can't begin to describe what Crisis has done for me. I've had hot meals, a bed to sleep in, I've seen an optician, had my haircut and I've even had a massage.'
Guest at Crisis Christmas shelter

Crisis at Christmas

Waitrose continued to provide donations and volunteering time towards Crisis's services for the homeless and vulnerable in the UK, and used customer channels to raise the profile of the work of Crisis. One guest at a Christmas shelter said: 'If it wasn't for Crisis, I'd be sleeping in a doorway somewhere or in the woods. I can't begin to describe what Crisis has done for me. I've had hot meals, a bed to sleep in, I've seen an optician, had my haircut and I've even had a massage. It's incredible.'