JOHN Lewis staff in Greater Manchester have handed over more than £26,000 for the homelessness charity the Mustard Tree, pictured.

The Mustard Tree is a Manchester-based charity which supports homeless people.

Partners from John Lewis’s department stores in Trafford and Cheadle teamed up with colleagues from the company’s contact centre in Didsbury to raise the impressive donation through fundraising events including a fashion show, Hawaiian day, Halloween events and a sponsored marathon.

As well as financial support, John Lewis supported the charity by running mentoring programmes with clients from the charity. These ranged from interview techniques to health and safety at work.

Highlights of the year included Graham Hudson, an artist who experienced homelessness and now teaches at The Mustard Tree, spending the day at John Lewis Trafford painting works of art which customers could buy.

Paul Wenham, chief executive of the Mustard Tree , said: “I can safely say we’ve never had a corporate sponsor like John Lewis before. They have helped in so many ways, not just in helping raise so much money, which is brilliant , but also in passing on experience in so many different areas. We’re a lot more organised now, we’ve tightened up some of our projects, and our customer service has improved massively.”

Moira Roberts, PR and marketing coordinator at John Lewis Trafford, said “Over the past 12 months we’ve provided ongoing support to The Mustard Tree, and forged a very strong partnership with this inspiring charity. We’ve helped with everything from room makeovers to mentoring schemes, interview skills courses and team building days for managers.

“We couldn’t have achieved what we did without the support of partners at our shops and contact centre. I’ve been blown away by how they got behind this charity and showed their support.”

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