Press releases

John Lewis pledges to increase community volunteering by 70 per cent

Monday 3 June 2013

John Lewis is celebrating Volunteers' Week, which takes place from 1-7 June, with the announcement that it will allocate more than 33,000 working hours annually to allow John Lewis Partners to invest more time volunteering.

Sustainability is embedded across every aspect of John Lewis, not just through its Constitution but through its sustainability strategy. A key part of this strategy is John Lewis's long-standing objective to engage with local communities.

Each full line John Lewis shop has a community liaison coordinator whose role is dedicated to the local community. They work with local community groups and charities to identify a broad range of ways in which the branch and its Partners (staff) can support them, which includes product donations, financial support and use of community rooms and volunteering time.

Christine Kasoulis, director, brand development at John Lewis, said: 'We take our role as an active member of the community seriously and our community strategy is focused on enhancing skills to create lasting change. By working alongside charities and community groups we seek to understand how we can best support them.

'Volunteering is a key way in which many of our branches already assist and benefit the local community. By pledging to increase our volunteering commitment and enabling Partners to be released from their day jobs for increased amounts of time, we seek to extend our support even further.'

A recent example of volunteering includes the expertise provided by Peter Jones to StartUp Britain to help launch PopUp King's Road, London. The shop's visual merchandisers used their expertise to support all aspects of the design, shop fit and merchandising of the new outlet which is designed to both fill empty shop space on the high street and house new start-up brands.

Craft and Design month was celebrated in many shop's nationwide with haberdashery departments leading workshops for charities, schools and community groups. The parent support group of Cubitt Town Infant and Junior Schools in Stratford attended the John Lewis Stratford branch for an arts and craft event which saw eleven parents create a three metre panoramic view of London from left-over fabrics from the shop's haberdashery department.

Jacqui Jenkins, parent liaison coordinator at, Cubitt Town Infant and Junior School, said: 'It was such a fun day for all involved. The team at John Lewis Stratford City provided a warm and welcoming environment. Our members really enjoyed their time at the event and have taken away so much including a new set of skills.'

Notes to editors

The John Lewis Partnership - The John Lewis Partnership operates 39 John Lewis shops across the UK (30 department stores and nine John Lewis at home),, 291 Waitrose shops, and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £9.5bn. It is the UK's largest example of worker co-ownership where all 84,700 staff are Partners in the business.

John Lewis - John Lewis, 'Retailer of the Year 2013'* and 'Multichannel Retailer of the Year 2013' *, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores. The website stocks over 200,000 products focused on the best of fashion, beauty, home and giftware and electrical items including online exclusives. is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. ( John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products - home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover - delivering the usual values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

*Oracle Retail Week Awards 2013
You can follow John Lewis on the following social media channels:

Volunteers Week - Volunteers' Week is an annual campaign which takes place from 1-7 June and celebrates the contribution made by volunteers across the UK.

Community Matters - John Lewis's charitable giving scheme Community Matters sees each of the 39 department stores split a £3,000 donation every quarter between three community groups, voted for by local John Lewis customers. Charities receive support as either John Lewis products, volunteering time from Partners (staff), or as financial support.

Community Rooms - John Lewis's Community Rooms are available in 20 full-line department stores for use by charities and community organisations for free.

Golden Jubilee Trust - Volunteering is embedded across the John Lewis Partnership, which comprises John Lewis and Waitrose, it set up the Golden Jubilee Trust in April 2000 to mark the 50th anniversary of the co-ownership business structure. Partners at any level within John Lewis or Waitrose can apply for a secondment to provide help for a charity, whilst developing new skills which can be used in both their work and personal lives. The Golden Jubilee Trust awards approximately 50 secondments each year on a full or part-time basis for a maximum of six months.


For further information please contact:

Emma J Cooke
Senior Press Officer, Corporate, Community
Telephone: 020 7592 5248
Mobile: 07770 847 871