John Lewis Stratford City has underlined its commitment to supporting the local community in the wake of the London 2012 Games by donating £33,000 to the Panathlon Challenge charity.

During the Games, the shop charged customers £2 each to access an Olympic Park viewing gallery located on its third floor, since so many people were keen to see the panoramic view. John Lewis raised a staggering £130,000 during the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the proceeds have been distributed across four charities which each target a key area of the local community.

The Panathlon charity will provide multi-sport competition for over 3,000 disabled children in 2013. In 2012, Panathlon Challenge participants have competed at the Olympic Stadium and Stoke Mandeville, the birthplace of the Paralympics. On April 1, they were among the first to compete on the new Olympic track in the Mayor’s Race at the Gold Challenge event.

Noel Saunders, Managing Director of John Lewis Stratford said: “We are delighted to celebrate one year of John Lewis Stratford City. We are thrilled that the money raised from our viewing gallery will go towards creating even more opportunities for thousands of people and continue the legacy we helped to start.”

Ashley Iceton from Panathlon Challenge said:
“John Lewis’s incredible donation will enable hundreds of disabled children to access sport, sometimes for the first time and then, who knows, emulate their Paralympic heroes and win medals of their own. For a local charity the size of Panathlon, this fantastic donation from John Lewis will help us as the Olympic / Paralympic motto says, ‘Inspire a Generation’.”

More info –
· The Panathlon Foundation (charity no 1072638) has been delivering competitive opportunities for young disabled people since 1999. It has invested £300,000 in sports equipment and coaching funds across London, Kent, Essex and other areas in 2012. Over 1,500 disabled young people have been involved in London competitions this year benefiting from coaching grants, equipment provision and 20 sports competitions to date. Additionally Panathlon has delivered 20 training days – qualifying over 200 Young Leaders as Panathlon officials since last October www.panathlon.comfor more details.

John Lewis is also supporting these charities –

  • £33k – Cardboard Citizens, a charity that aims to help change the lives of homeless people through theatre and the performing arts, encouraging people to share experiences and problem-solve together
  • £33k – East Potential, a subsidiary from the East Thames Group, offers care and support services and runs a range of programmes to prevent homelessness, get unemployed people back into work, create better neighbourhoods, and bring communities together
  • £10k – Community Links – an innovative East London charity working with 30,000 people each year in one of the most deprived, diverse and vibrant areas in the UK
  • £20k – John Lewis Stratford City Community Grants to be divided between a wide range of groups such as community centres, local schools and sports teams over the next six months.

· The John Lewis Partnership – The John Lewis Partnership operates 37 John Lewis shops across the UK (29 department stores and eight John Lewis at home), and 284 Waitrose supermarkets. The business has an annual turnover of nearly £8.7bn. It is the UK’s largest example of worker co-ownership where all 81,000 staff are Partners in the business.

· John Lewis and London 2012 – As part of this partnership with LOCOG (The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) John Lewis operates official London 2012 shops within all its department stores. John Lewis is helping to furnish lounge and reception areas at key Games-time venues as well as offering Partners (staff) the opportunity to support LOCOG in the operation and build-up to the Games. Further to the sponsorship with LOCOG, John Lewis Partnership has developed ‘Partners in Sport’ an initiative to put something back into the community through sport which includes sponsoring several London 2012 hopefuls as well as funding sports coaches.