Charitable foundations and trusts

There are a number of Foundations and Trusts associated with the Partnership, which are integral parts of our community investment approach.

Waitrose Foundation

Set up in 2005, the Waitrose Foundation is a supply chain partnership that returns a percentage of profits from product sales to fund projects chosen by the farm workers themselves.

Since its beginnings in South Africa, we have raised over £6 million and launched over 300 projects. These projects are diverse and reflect the individual needs of the communities, ranging from crèches to education programmes, and from sports teams to income-generating jewellery projects. In 2009 we launched two further Foundations in Kenya and in Ghana. Read more about the Waitrose Foundation.

John Lewis Foundation

We launched the John Lewis Foundation to suppliers in early 2010, and awarded the first grant, for a three-year Cotton Connect farmer training programme in India, in 2011. Through Cotton Connect, we have now trained over 1,000 farmers on sustainable working practises and a further 500 will be enrolled onto the programme in 2013. The first product utilising cotton from these farmers has been sold in John Lewis, a range of bath mats.

The Foundation has also funded the building and running of a girls school in Badohi, Uttar Pradesh, India.  This is situated where John Lewis sources hand made rugs and opened in July 2014.  Buying and Brand Director Paula Nickolds says: 'Education is key to changing people's lives in areas such as Bhadohi, where fewer than 15% of high-school-age girls have access to education'. 

John Spedan Lewis Foundation

The John Spedan Lewis Foundation was set up in 1964 at the instigation of Partners (employees) to commemorate the life and particular interests of the John Spedan Lewis, the founder of the Partnership.

The Foundation is an independent registered charity administered by five Trustees who meet twice a year, usually June and November.

Applications for funding are considered in the categories of horticulture, ornithology, entomology, environmental education and conservation, with preference given to small projects with an educational content. The size of donation ranges from approximately £500 to £7,000.

In addition, the Foundation funds a small number of PhD research projects on specific topics chosen by the Trustees. The Trustees also select the universities and research institutes they wish to support. Regrettably, unsolicited applications for PhD funding from individuals, universities or research institutes are not considered.

Further information about the Foundation can be obtained by emailing or from the Foundation's Charity Commission web page (

John Spedan Lewis Trust for the Advancement of the Natural Sciences

The John Spedan Lewis Trust for the Advancement of the Natural Sciences (JSLTANS) promotes an interest in natural history. It was established in 1955, in memory of the Partnership's Founder, an enthusiastic naturalist, who studied the plants and animals of the Leckford Estate in his spare time.

In 1972, several small areas of Leckford (the Partnership's 4,000-acre estate and working farm that supplies a variety of produce to Waitrose) were adopted as JSLTANS Nature Reserves. Over the years, visiting experts have monitored and recorded the many plant, insect and animal species that live there. The Trust also supports volunteers during conservation projects on its reserves and runs a programme of annual lectures.

The Trust has eight Trustees, who are appointed by the President of the Partnership Council. For enquiries, contact the Secretary at the following address:

The Secretary
c/o Estate Office
Leckford Estate
SO20 6JF

Golden Jubilee Trust

Set up with an initial investment by the Partnership of £5 million, the Golden Jubilee Trust (GJT) was established in April 2000 as part of the Partnership's Golden Jubilee celebrations. A registered charity, through the GJT any Partner, regardless of age, seniority or length of service, can apply for a full- or part-time volunteering secondment with a UK charity for up to six months. Read more about the Golden Juiblee Trust.