Partners at the John Lewis Partnership log a record 24,500 hours through its unique volunteering programme

Thursday 2 May 2019

The John Lewis Partnership’s employees have donated over 24,500 hours in the last year through its Golden Jubilee Trust long-term volunteering programme - equivalent to 3,293 working days, and a record number of hours since the launch of the programme 19 years ago.

Over 50 UK charities received a helping hand from 57 Partner volunteers, aged 23 to 63, over the last year, from national charities including Samaritans and Alzheimer’s Society to local causes, such as Leeds Women’s Aid and St Peter’s Hospice in Bristol.

In total, 35 communities were supported across causes including health, social welfare and environment, with the hours donated representing community value of over £1.9 million[1].

The Golden Jubilee Trust is the Partnership’s flagship volunteering programme, through which Partners - as all employees at the John Lewis Partnership which operates John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners are known - have the opportunity to volunteer for up to six months at a charity of their choice while remaining on full pay and benefits.

The Trust was set up in 2000 as a registered charity to celebrate the Partnership’s golden jubilee. Over 362,000 hours of Partners’ time has been awarded to more than 850 charities through the programme since its launch.

In addition to the Golden Jubilee Trust secondments, Partners are supported to volunteer throughout the year. Last year, Partners based at the John Lewis Partnership’s head offices in London Victoria volunteered nearly 4,000 additional hours supporting local causes.

This year, between 19 May - 8 June, the company will also run a new ‘Partners in the Community’ initiative, to encourage more Partners to get involved in volunteering in their communities. Partners across all areas of the business will have an opportunity to take time out of their daily roles to volunteer their skills, experience and time to charity partners or local causes in their area.

Tracey Killen, Partner & Director of Personnel, John Lewis Partnership and Chair of Trustees, Golden Jubilee Trust, said: “Volunteering benefits individual Partners, the charities they support, as well as our wider business. Our success depends on the communities where we operate thriving and our ongoing commitment to contribute to community wellbeing is enshrined in our constitution. We are very proud of how much has been achieved through our unique Golden Jubilee Trust programme and hope that many more Partners will get involved in volunteering through our upcoming Partners in the Community initiative.”

[1] Using Givx submission principles of community value of hours volunteered.


Meet the Partner volunteers on Golden Jubilee Trust secondments


Mick Hubbard - Milton Keynes Food Bank

Mick works as a Training Coordinator at John Lewis & Partners Distribution Centre in Milton Keynes and has been with the Partnership for over 19 years.

He’s on a six-month Golden Jubilee Trust secondment, volunteering for the Milton Keynes Food Bank, going out to collect food, making up and distributing food parcels and helping to raise awareness of the charity.

“This is a very worthwhile charity and an ever growing problem, not just in Milton Keynes, but UK-wide. It’s so important to help, but it can be upsetting - I have brought colleagues along to help, who have said the experience has been eye-opening.

“Many years ago I experienced homelessness myself and there was no such support available. I know many people who have needed a food bank, so I really wanted to give back. If you’re thinking about volunteering, don’t do what I did, which is think about it for years, just go and apply!”


Kathryn Brophy - Smart Works

Kathryn works as an Administrator at John Lewis & Partners Contact Centre in Didsbury. Last year, she volunteered for Smart Works which provides high quality interview clothes and interview training to unemployed women in need.

Kathryn spent six months with Smart Works on a Golden Jubilee Trust secondment, supporting the charity’s centre in Manchester and overseeing pop-up shops to sell clothing that had been donated but was unsuitable for interviews.

“I feel so fortunate to have been given this wonderful opportunity, which has been one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. It has been very humbling to help women in my local community, at a time when they are in a very difficult situation, to enable them to get their confidence and self-esteem back.”


John Rogers - Cardinal Hume Centre

John is a Supermarket Assistant at Waitrose & Partners Bracknell and is currently on a Golden Jubilee Trust secondment with the Cardinal Hume Centre. The Centre, which is based in Westminster, enables people to gain skills to overcome poverty and homelessness.

“I’m helping the charity organise and promote a big fundraising event at St James’s Church in July. As soon as I arrive in the morning, I’m straight in the hot seat - sorting out new donation tools, creating the ticketing website, dealing with caterers and corporate sponsors. It’s absolutely brilliant and will be a fantastic event for the audience of 600.

“Volunteering enables you to try something new and stretch your skillset. It’s also a good opportunity to experience a different working environment - if you work in store you might not have worked in an office before and getting this experience is something I would definitely encourage. You also get to meet different people - in my role I have met Cardinal, CEO of one of the biggest charity fund managers and even a famous soprano singer.”



Cathrine Robinson - BUST

Cathrine is a Supermarket Assistant at Waitrose & Partners Billericay, currently doing a secondment as a volunteer in Basildon & Thurrock University Hospital’s Breast Unit Support Team (BUST) - a group of ex/current patients and medical professionals fundraising to enhance the environment of the Breast Care Unit.

“Back in 2015, out of the blue, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent treatment at the hospital. When I saw information at work about the Golden Jubilee Trust I knew immediately that I wanted to give back to the medics and the teams that helped me.

“As a recovering patient I’m able to offer assistance to visitors to the Unit. For some patients and families it can be an emotional and overwhelming time so the support the BUST team provides is invaluable. The Golden Jubilee Trust is a wonderful opportunity to ‘pay it forward’ to a charity close to your heart and maintain continuous service as a Partner.”


Download the John Lewis Partnership’s Corporate Responsibility report, A Better Way of Doing Business


John Lewis Partnership

The John Lewis Partnership owns and operates two of Britain's best-loved retail brands, John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners. Started as a radical idea nearly a century ago, the Partnership is now the largest employee-owned business in the UK, with 83,900 employees who are all Partners in the business and share in its profits. The Partnership operates on strong democratic principles, which means that every Partner has a say in how the organisation is run. The business has annual gross sales of over £11.7bn, over 400 shops and a leading online business. Its commercial strategy is focused on differentiation rather than scale, through investment in innovation and Partner led service.


John Lewis Partnership

Marita Upeniece 
Partner & Group Senior External Communications Manager
Tel: 020 7798 3494