Good causes get bags of Christmas aid from Waitrose
More than a dozen good causes will be given a substantial boost this December thanks to Waitrose.
Each year, in the run-up to Christmas, partners can apply for extra budget from head office to donate to local causes under the Community Matters at Christmas scheme.
This year, Tracy Whitfield, community marketing champion at the Northgate End supermarket, found several worthy causes in Bishop’s Stortford that she wanted to donate to, so she asked head office for around £2,000.
To her amazement, Tracy was granted exactly what she asked for. Each of the donations that she can give to the causes must be in-stock contributions, meaning that she must give the various causes food, drink or other goods from the Waitrose store room rather than cash.
The Winter Night Shelter at Holy Trinity Church will receive a £400 bundle. Tracy will cook a full Christmas dinner for the residents there on Friday, December 21, and they will each receive a Christmas hamper.
Every Monday leading up to December, Tracy will also be leading cooking demonstrations for the residents.
Birchwood Young Carers will also receive a £400 donation. This is a group of students from the Parsonage Lane secondary school who care for a parent or family member.
Bishop’s Stortford’s Age Concern will be handed another £400 package. This will pay for Christmas lunch for the 45 guests at the New Apton Centre on Tuesday, December 18.
The Hummingbird Cancer Support Group is being given £300, the YMCA at Northgate End will receive £250 towards the group’s first Christmas dinner and the Elsenham Community Lunch Club will get a £150 boost.
Various other causes will benefit throughout December: Bishop’s Stortford Choral Society, Grove Cottage, the Interact club, police cadets, and Bishop’s Stortford and Sawbridgeworth air cadets will be doing bag packing for Waitrose customers in exchange for donations.
Partners will also be fundraising throughout the month. On Friday, December 14, staff will go to work in their most jovial Christmas jumpers and each will contribute £2 to Save the Children.
On Christmas Eve, staff will dress up in their more inventive Christmassy glad rags and donate £2 to FareShare, the UK’s largest charity that fights hunger and food waste. The Stortford store already donates its unsold food to local causes via this charity.