John Lewis is donating nearly 5000 items of warm clothing to families in need as the UK’s freezing temperatures continue this week.

The clothing will be distributed through local Home-Starts across ten key locations in the UK, where many vulnerable communities have been affected most during the pandemic.

Fuel poverty has become a growing issue for struggling families in recent months. With many people forced to stay at home during lockdown, this has led to an inevitable increase in heating costs, which many simply cannot afford.

John Lewis will donate clothing from its babywear, childrenswear, womenswear and menswear product ranges to help keep families stay warm during the third and coldest lockdown.

The support is part of the John Lewis Partnership’s Give a Little Love campaign which aims to make a lasting difference to some of those hit hardest during the last year.

Since the pandemic started, FareShare has had to double the amount of food it distributes to meet the rising demand.  Home-Start continue to see families facing isolation and struggling to provide basic needs such as heating and clothing.

The Give a Little Love campaign has already raised over £3million for long term charity partners FareShare, Home-Start and local community groups, with a further £2million pledged last month. Waitrose and John Lewis aim to support struggling families impacted by the pandemic with a raft of initiatives designed to provide nutrition, warmth and comfort. The Partnership will extend its support by pooling the expertise and passion of Partners, resources, networks and time to meet the specific needs of the most vulnerable in society.

Peter Grigg, chief executive, Home-Start UK, said: “The extended lockdown continues to place great pressure on families and the cold weather brings additional challenges in terms of the costs of keeping warm and the chances to get outside to exercise and play – such crucial parts of childhood. This incredible donation from John Lewis and Waitrose will be brilliant for the families we work with at Home-Start and help them to keep warm and get outside which will make a huge difference to their wellbeing.”

Pippa Wicks, Executive Director, John Lewis, said: “This is undeniably one of the most challenging periods of the pandemic so far. As the impact is felt more deeply across society, we know that now is not the time to take our foot off the pedal in supporting families who need immediate and practical support.”