Fighting the holiday isolation

editorial image

Waitrose is teaming up with the Lightburn Elderly Association Project to deliver food hampers for the elderly across South Lanarkshire, this Christmas.

LEAP’s Hands On Project, which provides free, practical assistance to the over-50s is being supported by Waitrose’ Newton Mearns branch to provide 150 Christmas hampers to the elderly folk within the community.

Now in its third year, Waitrose stores across the UK are taking part in the Christmas Isolation project by helping to support elderly, homeless and vulnerable people across the community.

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

Waitrose Newton Mearns are using the Christmas Isolation project to support LEAP’s Christmas Hamper delivery.

The Hands On Project Christmas Hamper scheme has run for the past three years. The food hampers provide a Christmas treat for people who are on their own over the festive period.

Each year, Waitrose have provided some financial support towards the cost of the Hands On Project hampers. This year, however, Waitrose are providing all funding and stock for the entire project. They are covering the full cost of the hampers and have been engaged in some in-branch fundraising for the project over the last few weeks.

Stuart McGregor, LEAP’s Executive Director, said:

“We are so grateful for all the help and support provided by Waitrose. It is fantastic that they have been so generous and agreed to fund the entire cost of all the hampers, as well as providing the stock and contents of them.

“Our partnership with Waitrose helps to make sure that we can reach many of the Hands On Project clients who are most in need of support this Christmas time.”

Jamie Wishart, Branch Manager at Waitrose Newton Mearns, said:

“Waitrose Newton Mearns have been involved with LEAP over the past two years and we are delighted to be able to offer our support again, at such an important time of year. LEAP provide a vital service to the local community, and I know having attended the AGM how important the services LEAP provide are to residents. 

“Community involvement is at the heart of Waitrose, we donate £1,000 a month to local charities nominated by our customers, and provide 250 hours of support to local causes through our Partner Volunteering scheme. If you would like to know more or get involved, please contact Waitrose Newton Mearns.”

Mr Thomas Morris, aged 91, a recipient of one of the hampers, said: “The Hands On Project provides a great service and I really appreciate the support they give over the course of the year. I always look forward to the visits I have with my befriender every week, because we always have a good chat and a great laugh. The project has made a huge difference to me over the last year. Especially when I can’t get out as much as I used to, it’s great to look forward to that weekly visit. I would recommend the service to anyone who might be in need of it.”

If you are interested in volunteering with the Hands On Project please call 0141 641 5169.