The Managing Director of the retail giant believes private businesses should help those affected by the public sector cuts.
High street retailer John Lewis is helping out community groups near its department stores in the UK by providing rooms where they can hold meetings for free. The rooms have full conference facilities and audio-visual equipment. Managing Director Andy Street came up with the innovative idea:
I was struck [by the idea] when I heard about the voluntary sector being under real pressure. There have been cuts in local authority-provided places for them to meet. These locations are drying up or groups are being charged much more money to use them. What we as a business have got is space in the heart of communities.
So far, four of their stores are offering this service, in Glasgow, Newcastle, Cardiff and Watford. Other stores will join in over the next few months. Groups and charities can book the rooms through the relevant branch’s community liaison coordinator.