By placing a token in the Community Matters box at your local branch you’re helping your community. Since its launch in 2008, the scheme has donated £14 million to local charities chosen by you.
At the end of your shop in branch, you’ll receive a token to place in a box of the good cause you’d most like to support. The more tokens a cause gets, the bigger the donation they receive. Each month every Waitrose branch donates £1,000 (£500 in Convenience shops) between 3 local good causes that you choose.
Online, Waitrose.com also shares a donation of £25,000 between 3 national causes. After checkout, you will be asked to vote for one of the national causes we are supporting. Each cause will receive a share according to the number of votes - just as we do in our branches.
National causes we are currently supporting on Waitrose.com
The Brain Tumour Charity
An Admiral Nurse spending time with a family carer, helping her to understand the condition.
"Having brought up five children I always thought of myself as a strong and resilient woman but as Geoff’s illness progressed I became more tired and frustrated not knowing where to seek help. Eventually on a visit to the psychiatrist for a check up, I burst into tears and was advised to seek help. I was given the telephone number of an Admiral Nurse."
Helen cared for her husband, Geoff, at home for seven years, until he needed 24 hour care. Before retiring, they worked as Holiday Site Managers for the caravanning club. It was here that Helen noticed changes in Geoff's personality and an increasing short-term memory loss. Within two years he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. Very much still in love, Helen was struggling to cope with not only the everyday practicalities of caring, but also the living grief of slowly losing her husband. She was referred to an Admiral Nurse.
Their Admiral Nurse, Rachel, helped Helen navigate the tricky health and social care system. She enabled Helen to give the best care possible to Geoff, through teaching her more about the condition and ensuring that she took time for herself. They also built a close, therapeutic relationship which meant they could talk openly in difficult points of transition; from getting help at home, to choosing an appropriate care home and eventually coping with Geoff's passing. Throughout this time they remained close.
"Throughout this whole period of my life I have been lucky to have the support and guidance of my Admiral Nurse which has been invaluable and kept me sane. Not only has she helped me, but the knock on effect was that Geoff’s care was enhanced as I understood how to care for him better and how to get support for myself."
The Brain Tumour Charity
David (DD) was 11 when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He had displayed symptoms for a while before he was finally given his diagnosis. He endured 9 operations, months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but it wasn’t enough. In the end he also developed the rare and cruel side effect of dementia and repeatedly asked if he was dying, which was simply heart-breaking for his parents and younger siblings. He tragically lost his life aged just 16.
He inspires us to fight, every day, to change outcomes for other children faced with this devastating disease.
It takes longer for childhood brain tumours to be diagnosed in the UK than in many other countries, which is why The Brain Tumour Charity funded research which led to their HeadSmart campaign, to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms to reduce diagnosis times, alongside funding research to find a cure and better treatments.
David’s Mum, Sacha, said: “When I first saw the HeadSmart symptoms cards, I felt physically ill as I instantly knew how much more quickly I would have gone to the GP and how this earlier diagnosis would have probably spared David from all the operations he had to endure.”
With a matter of weeks to live, David and Sacha took part in a media campaign to spread the HeadSmart message and since he lost his life, Sacha has pledged not to stop until the diagnosis times for brain tumours in children in the UK is under 5 weeks, on a par with the best in the world. Coupled with improved treatment options, earlier diagnosis will dramatically improve children’s chances of survival and reduce long-term disabilities.
Every 3 days a child dies from a brain tumour. Your vital support will help us give these children a better chance of life.
Gary Cairn holding his son Leo during his 90 days stay in hospital after being born 14 weeks early
When Gary and Amanda Cairn’s second baby Leo was born premature they were overwhelmed by their worries for his health and future as well as feelings of guilt and blame. Late one evening, exhausted from their ordeal and needing to talk to someone Gary rang Bliss’ helpline.
The helpline volunteer was brilliant, I found myself talking about all of my worries, she understood what we’d been going through and was able to offer all sorts of advice.
I told her we’d been thinking of counselling but there’s a long waiting list and it’s expensive. Amazingly she rang me back the next morning to say Bliss had referred us to a local counsellor through their emergency referral service and that Bliss would cover the cost.
It was a lifeline, we were more able to manage our worries and the practical aspects of life such as the financial implications of having a premature baby and making time for our older child.
Bliss’ counselling service has had a really positive impact on hundreds of families who like the Cairn’s might be overwhelmed or they may be suffering from post traumatic stress or post natal depression as a result of the traumatic experience. However it’s in very in high demand and we want to grow this service and offer it to more parents of premature and sick babies.
The service offered by Bliss was invaluable, nothing can prepare a parent for having a premature baby. There’s so many different emotions and worries and you’re always wondering why it happened to your family. There are increased financial pressures and if like me and Amanda you have another child then life becomes even more complicated.
I hope anyone who needs it will be able to get counselling through Bliss, it was a brilliant service that we wouldn’t have been able to get so fast for free any other way. We’ll always be grateful.
Community Matters results
To see the results and amounts that we have donated to previous charities click here
If you are a UK-registered national charity and would like to be considered for our Community Matters Online initiative then please post your applications on headed paper for consideration to:
Waitrose Community Matters Team
Please give a brief outline of the work your charity does along with details of any current projects that you are seeking funding for. This should be no more than one side of A4. The Community Matters Team will then only contact you if your application is successful or if they require further details.