Waitrose branch volunteers support community groups

HELPING HANDS From left: Jodie Levesque, Emma Hartley, Fiona Saunders, Lisa Burgess and headteacher at Padnell Infant School Mandy Grayson
HELPING HANDS From left: Jodie Levesque, Emma Hartley, Fiona Saunders, Lisa Burgess and headteacher at Padnell Infant School Mandy Grayson
Sailors from a Portsmouth Royal Navy minehunter crew have rowed 805 miles - to Disneyland Paris and back - in 48 hours to raise money for their shipmates son who has been diagnosed with cancer.

The personnel of Mine Countermeasure Squadron - Crew 2 held a 48 hour rowathon in aid of 9 year old Ethan John, son of Able Seaman (MineWarfare) Craig John.

Kind Portsmouth sailors’ row helps boy battling cancer

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As part of supermarket chain Waitrose’s national campaign, its Waterlooville branch is tackling isolation for the third year running this Christmas, continuing to support vulnerable groups in the community.

Padnell Infant School recently benefited from the Waitrose Waterlooville Partnership Volunteering Scheme following the school’s appointment of an emotional literacy support assistant to work with the most vulnerable children.

A team of Waitrose volunteers decorated an old store room to create a suitable base at the school for the assistant.

Fiona Saunders, the Community Matters co-ordinator from the Waitrose Waterloo-ville branch, who led the volunteer team, said: ‘Being part of this project has enabled me to work with the school to see the project through to the end. It is very satisfying to be able to offer community support in this way.’

The headteacher of Padnell Infant School, Mandy Grayson, said: ‘With the difficulties of modern day life and the complex world we live in it’s becoming increasingly important to provide a service within school that supports the emotional well-being of children.

‘Without the kind help and support of the Waitrose team and their customers who raised £231 for the school, projects like this just could not happen.’

With the festive season fast approaching, Waitrose Waterlooville will be providing Christmas lunches to Step by Step, a charity based in Havant with a focus on young homeless people, and The Borrow Centre in Cowplain which is part of the Age Concern Federation.

In addition to the support for charities over Christmas, Waitrose Waterlooville donates £1,000 a month to good causes.

Waitrose’s 338 branches will be contributing by volunteering their time, money and produce to good causes this Christmas.

Tina Varnes, Waitrose Community Manager nationally, said: ‘Our branches are at the centre of the communities they serve. We know how important this time of year is to so many people and it’s important everyone has the opportunity to enjoy that.’