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Tackling Christmas Isolation

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Waitrose has announced that it is launching a major new initiative to help support elderly, homeless and vulnerable people in the community this Christmas.

The retailer, which has a local branch in Thame, will help provide Christmas lunch events for people who would otherwise be on their own on Christmas day.

Waitrose is asking organisers of local Christmas dinner events to get in touch with their local Waitrose shop, where they can apply for support from the retailer. The deadline for requests is 15th November

With more than three quarters of a million Brits over 65 saying they always or often feel lonely* the support is aimed at cutting these numbers at what for many others is the most sociable time of the year.

The drive will see:

  • Every Waitrose shop supporting community Christmas lunch events — offering food, money and other resources
  • Hundreds of Waitrose volunteering hours being offered for Waitrose Partners to help plan events (while being fully paid by Waitrose)
  • Waitrose asking its customers to think of people in their community who might be lonely this Christmas and make small actions that might make a big difference

Each of the retailer's 300 shops has an allocation of money and volunteering time to put towards community Christmas dinner events.

Waitrose is asking groups to apply for this support from their local branch if they are already organising — or thinking of organising — such a lunch.

Says Waitrose Community Manager Tina Varns: "Through our Community Matters initiative (green tokens) our shops have been able to support such incredible work going on in communities across the country over the last five years — and we've learned first-hand how vital this kind of support is at providing lifelines to vulnerable people. This new Isolation Campaign will complement the great work our shops are already doing in their local communities — and we're excited about the difference it will make to so many people."

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