Charity team takes on 15-mile walk around Portsea island as part of Waitrose and John Lewis festive Give a Little Love campaign

A CHILLY trek around Portsea island is set to spread some love to families across the city as part of a nationwide festive campaign.
The Home-Start Portsmouth team left Waitrose in Marmion Road, Southsea, on Tuesday, December 8. The 15 mile walk fundraising walk around Portsea, was for the John Lewis & Partners Give A Little Love campaign.

Pictured is: (l-r) Rachel Benjamin, Rachael Hulks, Amy Baines, Jacqui Leighton, Heidi Taylor and Jo Toms from Home-Start Portsmouth, with the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Rob Wood with Waitrose store manager Rhys Evans.

Picture: Sarah Standing (081220-9817)The Home-Start Portsmouth team left Waitrose in Marmion Road, Southsea, on Tuesday, December 8. The 15 mile walk fundraising walk around Portsea, was for the John Lewis & Partners Give A Little Love campaign.

Pictured is: (l-r) Rachel Benjamin, Rachael Hulks, Amy Baines, Jacqui Leighton, Heidi Taylor and Jo Toms from Home-Start Portsmouth, with the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Rob Wood with Waitrose store manager Rhys Evans.

Picture: Sarah Standing (081220-9817)
The Home-Start Portsmouth team left Waitrose in Marmion Road, Southsea, on Tuesday, December 8. The 15 mile walk fundraising walk around Portsea, was for the John Lewis & Partners Give A Little Love campaign. Pictured is: (l-r) Rachel Benjamin, Rachael Hulks, Amy Baines, Jacqui Leighton, Heidi Taylor and Jo Toms from Home-Start Portsmouth, with the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Rob Wood with Waitrose store manager Rhys Evans. Picture: Sarah Standing (081220-9817)

Six team members from Home-Start Portsmouth set off from Waitrose in Southsea for a 15-mile sponsored walk on Tuesday to raise funds for the families they support.

Home-Start UK, which is made up of a network of 180 independent charities, is set for a huge boost as they will share in half of the funds raised through John Lewis and Waitrose’s Give a Little Love campaign.

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Along with FareShare, Home-Start UK is set to benefit from a share of £4m from the festive movement.

The Home-Start Portsmouth team left Waitrose in Marmion Road, Southsea, on Tuesday, December 8. The 15 mile walk fundraising walk around Portsea, was for the John Lewis & Partners Give A Little Love campaign.

Picture: Sarah Standing (081220-9826)The Home-Start Portsmouth team left Waitrose in Marmion Road, Southsea, on Tuesday, December 8. The 15 mile walk fundraising walk around Portsea, was for the John Lewis & Partners Give A Little Love campaign.

Picture: Sarah Standing (081220-9826)
The Home-Start Portsmouth team left Waitrose in Marmion Road, Southsea, on Tuesday, December 8. The 15 mile walk fundraising walk around Portsea, was for the John Lewis & Partners Give A Little Love campaign. Picture: Sarah Standing (081220-9826)
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Jo Toms, operations manager for Home-Start Portsmouth, organised the walk to give something back to the campaign, and to the community which has rallied to donate pyjamas, Christmas Eve boxes and more.

She said: ‘We support families in Portsmouth who are having a difficult time for whatever reason. It’s pretty hard being a parent, especially at the moment with a global pandemic.

‘We have been inundated with lots of offers of love and kindness. As a staff team we thought we needed to do our own little bit.’

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After being waved off by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Rob Wood, the group were met by volunteers along the route to provide chocolate biscuits and cups of tea.

Waitrose put on a spread of treats for the tired walkers when they returned at around 4pm, along with a bottle of prosecco and a bunch of flowers for each of them.

Jo added: ‘We were treated like queens when we got back to Waitrose! It was lovely, we felt very important.

‘There have been challenging times this year and this was a lovely way to end the year by giving a little bit more love to our families.’

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Rhys Evans, Waitrose Southsea store manager, said: ‘It's been amazing to hear the difference that the Give a Little Love campaign is making and it has been humbling to spend time with some of the staff and volunteers, listening to the stories of how they have been making a big difference to families' lives in Portsmouth.’

The current total is £1,050, which is more than double their original £500 target.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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