You've helped decide the charities Waitrose supports - now we want to do more
Lunch clubs for the elderly, soup runs for the homeless and cooking classes for adults with learning difficulties - we champion thousands of fantastic local projects and charities.
One project we are proud to support is a weekly lunch club in Hampshire, which was the focus of our Christmas advertising campaign. The club was 1 of the 3 monthly Community Matters causes in Waitrose Dibden, Hythe.
"We have a duty to look after the lost and the least and the last. These are the people the church needs to reach out to. It's about having love for those around us." Chris Lund, Church Warden
Every Wednesday, older residents of Hythe are collected in a minibus and served a two-course home-cooked meal at St John's Church hall. On the day of filming, the club was having a Harvest-themed celebration lunch paid for by funds from Waitrose's Community Matters scheme.
St. John's Church warden Chris Lund, has been running the weekly lunch with a dedicated team of volunteers for the past 6 years. He believes it's vital that churches do this everywhere. "We have a duty to look after the lost and the least and the last. These are the people the church needs to reach out to. It's about having love for those around us."
Volunteering at the Bridge Project
Every month, volunteers from Waitrose visit the Bridge Project to teach its members how to cook. As a result, some of those members - adults with learning disabilities - now work in the café of the Sudbury store.
“ It’s a great confidence booster for all involved,” says Shelly Byford, a Waitrose Partner and Volunteer. “The Bridge project is like a community. It’s safe, supportive and welcoming place where adults with learning difficulties can come to learn new skills. Waitrose provides a van and driver to help us deliver meals to vulnerable adults who can’t cook for themselves.”
The MK Soup Run
Another organisation we are proud to support is the MK Soup Run in Milton Keynes.
The MK Soup Run is a group of volunteers who travel around the town distributing tea, coffee and soup to over 50 homeless people a night.
"Christmas is particularly important for us. It's our job to show that the community cares and there is hope." Paul Brookman,Volunteer
Volunteer, Paul Brookman, told Waitrose Kitchen magazine how the Community Matters scheme has a made a difference to the group, and why the work they do for the homeless is important, especially during the winter months. “Last year, we received £860 from our local Waitrose. It made a huge difference, enabling us to carry on for another 6 months. Christmas is particularly important for us. It's our job to show that the community cares and there is hope."