Waitrose receives Big Society award
Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday presented Waitrose with the latest Big Society Award in recognition of the supermarkets Community Matters scheme which has donated £10 million to 30,000 charities across the UK.
The scheme which was set up in 2008, allows shoppers to choose three charitable causes each month to receive a £1,000 donation from their local store by voting at the check-out. Last month the scheme was extended to online shoppers who can now vote for three national causes to receive a share of £25,000 every three months.
At a meeting with Waitrose MD Mark Price, the Prime Minister was told of the supermarket’s plans to launch its Partner Volunteering scheme, where Waitrose employees will donate 75,000 hours to local charities in 2012. He also heard how Waitrose will participate in the Prince’s Trust ‘Get into’ programme by offering 100 two-week work placements to youngsters who are not in education or employment, and of plans by John Lewis Partnership to launch a 12-month apprenticeship scheme.
Presenting Waitrose with the award, the Prime Minister said: "Those green tokens have already seen £10 million donated to more than 30 thousand local good causes. I’ve heard first-hand this morning from some of the charities who have benefited – they are the greatest testament to the difference this scheme makes.
"I would like to congratulate Waitrose staff around the country for the contribution they have already made to their local communities and I wish them every success with their new employee volunteering, work placement and apprenticeship programmes over the coming year."
Mark Price said: "It is more important than ever that we play an active role in supporting and safeguarding the future of the areas we trade in and the people who live there. It’s also essential that, in these difficult economic times, we give young people opportunities to develop their careers - they are the future of our business and our industry.
"Our Partner Volunteering initiative, apprenticeship schemes and work with The Prince’s Trust are great ways for our Partners to give something back to their communities - they will also provide invaluable experience to our Partners, helping them learn new skills which they can apply in their own lives."
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