DEPARTMENT store giant John Lewis has announced it will be supporting various York charities throughout the year at its new store at Monks Cross.

The John Lewis Community Matters scheme will see £3,000 split between a trio of local causes every three months.

Ahead of the new York store opening on April 10, the retailer has announced the first three charities to benefit.

They are Independent Domestic Abuse Service (IDAS), which provides support to those affected by domestic abuse in York and parts of North Yorkshire, homeless support charity Arc Light, and Accessible Arts and Media which runs creative music and arts projects to connect people with disabilities and young people.

The Community Matters scheme allows John Lewis York customers to decide which charity they would like to support by voting in store with a token.

The £3,000 will then be split between the charities to reflect the proportion of tokens they received.

Robert Garnish, branch manager at John Lewis York, said: “John Lewis York is delighted to support these three charities and the extraordinary contribution they make to the local community.

“Helping engage with young and disabled people, supporting the homeless and helping families through domestic abuse are extremely important causes.”

Rose Kent, of Accessible Arts and Media, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen. We rely heavily on the generosity of the local community to fund our programme, so this support from John Lewis will really make a big difference for our organisation.”

Jeremy Jones, of Arc Light, said: “The partnership with John Lewis helps to raise awareness of the work we do to support the homeless to rebuild their lives and cope with the challenges of abusive childhoods, substance misuse or mental ill-health.”

Sarah Hill, of IDAS, added: “We were so pleased to hear we had been selected.

“Donations received will help us to continue our work and will also cover the costs of our two refuge centres in York and Harrogate.”