A SUPPORT centre has received vital help from John Lewis to carry on services that will care for children this Christmas.

Home-Start York, a local volunteer organisation to help young children in the city, has been given a lifeline during the pandemic thanks to a new campaign by the department store chain.

The charity, which provides emotional and practical support, and links families to community services, said social distancing measures had put a real strain on families in need.

This new campaign with the John Lewis Partnership aims to raise £5 million for the work of Home-Start and FareShare through an effort to encourage communities and customers to embrace the Christmas spirit and give what they can.

Home-Start York Scheme Manager, Maria O’Keeffe, said: “We are thrilled that the partnership between Home-Start and John Lewis & Partners has been announced just before Christmas, giving us an exciting opportunity to work together with our local stores and to raise awareness of the work we do supporting families in York.

"The parents we support with young children often struggle with isolation and mental health and this year the pandemic has magnified the need for human contact like never before.

“Our volunteers have been there each week to provide telephone support when home visits haven’t been possible, until we can return to our normal service.

“In what has been a terrible tough year for Home-Start York, we thank John Lewis, for actively recognising the need for organisations to collaborate in these challenging times, to help those most in need, when they need it most.”