Home-Start Aberdeen will be able to support local families to keep their homes warm this Christmas, thanks to the grant recently awarded by the John Lewis and Waitrose Partners Give A Little Love Campaign.

The charity, which supports parents with financial, physical, emotional or other challenges associated with caring for young children, has been able to support 10 families in severe financial hardship by helping to cover the cost of their fuel bills. In a winter when people will be spending more time than ever indoors, Home-Start Aberdeen can support a number of families with nowhere else to turn, giving them one less thing to worry about this Christmas.

This will make an enormous difference to the families supported. One family commented: “We are extremely grateful and now won’t feel anxious about putting the heating on to stay warm.”

The Give A Little Love Campaign, inspired by the kindness shown by the British public during the pandemic, encourages John Lewis and Waitrose customers to give a little love to others.  Donations up to the value of £2m will be match funded by a donation from the John Lewis Partnership. A further fund of over £1m has also been created to ensure all of the retailers’ shops will be actively partnering with FareShare and a range of local family Home-Start charities in the communities they serve.

Eleanor McEwan, General Manager of Home-Start Aberdeen said:

“The economic impacts of the pandemic have been enormous, especially for families who were already struggling, and many are facing a difficult Christmas. This funding will make a huge difference to families, allowing them to have a warm home and cook hot meals over the holiday, and helping them to create the kind of Christmas every child deserves.”

Peter Grigg, CEO of Home-Start UK said:

“Families are running on empty. The pandemic has been hard for all families, but it’s been toughest on those already facing challenges around mental health, low incomes, and other challenges in their lives. I have been overwhelmed by the kindness shown in our communities during the pandemic, but I know there is so much more to do. With the help of John Lewis and Waitrose Partners and customers we will be able to work with more families when they need us most.”

Pippa Wicks, Executive Director of John Lewis, said:

“We want this campaign to be uplifting and to inspire everyone to give some kindness in their own way this Christmas, especially to those who need it most. The pandemic has proved that it’s our small acts of love and kindness, particularly in challenging times, that captures what it is to be human; and when one small act of kindness multiplies it can have a lasting impact.”