Covid-19 latest: John Lewis Partnership fights loneliness as shoppers self-isolate

The John Lewis Partnership has unveiled a £1 million Community Support Fund designed to combat loneliness among the vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic.

The retailer said it has asked local stores to pinpoint local initiatives, including offering online sessions for shoppers who are self-isolating at home. This community support is expected to include expert advice for expectant parents, wellbeing sessions and cookery and craft tuition.

Coronavirus support for vulnerable

John Lewis said it wants to tackle the feelings of loneliness and isolation by looking at ways to offer these services remotely to customers in their homes who will be invited to book online sessions with specialists or set up one-to-one phone calls.

Sharon White, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, stated: “At this time of national crisis, the John Lewis Partnership is wholeheartedly committed to ensuring we support customers and in particular the elderly and most vulnerable. Our commitment to contribute to the wellbeing of the communities we operate in has always been at the heart of our business.”

John Lewis securing vital supplies

A range of measures have also been unveiled to ensure vital supplies remain available to people most in need. From Friday, Waitrose is joining other leading grocers by introducing a shopping hour specifically for elderly and vulnerable people. Additionally, each customer has been restricted to a maximum of three specific grocery items and two packets of toilet roll.

Meanwhile, all Waitrose cafes and rotisseries will be closed in order to ensure stores remain stocked with food and essential items.

“Partners have been outstanding, supporting each other and responding to the huge surge in demand at Waitrose. More than 2,100 John Lewis Partners are helping in Waitrose shops this month and supporting deliveries; I am truly grateful to everyone,” said White.

The retailer is also taking steps to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus situation on its staff; a support fund is being set up for those facing an extra financial burden as a result of the crisis, such as childcare costs, and partners will be offered free meals at work.

If you know a retailer or retail tech vendor who is helping communities during the pandemic please contact Retail Connections.

Read our other coverage on the Coronavirus efforts here+

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