Hand in hand with local charities

Our Local Charity of the Year scheme has raised more than £11m since 2009 – and this year we’re aiming even higher.

At Sainsbury’s we want to support local charities, because we know they matter to customers and colleagues and make a big difference in the communities we serve.

As part of this, each year we run our Local Charity of the Year scheme – inviting customers at each store to vote for a charity to support.

In this, the scheme’s ninth year, we expect to bring in around £2m for more than 1,200 new charities. It’s all part of our goal to donate more than £400m to charity by 2020.

We were staggered with the amount raised.

Layla Stephen
charity team fund manager for PLANETS, which Hedge Fund Sainsbury’s supported in 2014/15

Backing charities all year round

The Local Charity of the Year scheme is simple. Each summer, our stores prepare a shortlist of three local charities for customers to choose from. The idea is to choose charities we can support all year round – not just with fundraising, but also with awareness raising and volunteering – so we make a big difference.

Customers then vote on which of the three charities to back – either in store or at our Local Charity of the Year site. In 2016 at total of 1.9 million votes were cast – up 440% year on year – showing that more and more customers are backing the scheme.


donated to charities in 2015/16 – including the amount raised by Local Charity of the Year

A charity close to colleagues’ hearts

Colleagues at Hedge End Sainsbury’s celebrate their donation to the PLANETS charity

Local Charity of the Year is also well supported by Sainsbury’s colleagues. For example, in 2014/15, Hedge End Sainsbury’s in Southampton supported a local hospital charity, PLANETS, which raises money to help people with pancreatic, liver and neuroendocrine tumours.

Local hospital staff had helped one Sainsbury’s colleague – who had worked at the Hedge End store for 10 years – at the end of her life. She received vital care that extended her life for two years. With the charity so close to colleagues’ hearts, the store raised more than £26,000 – with some colleagues even abseiling down Portsmouth’s Spinnaker tower for the cause.

Measuring the difference

We want to grow the Local Charity of the Year scheme even more, extending it to all our stores by 2020. We also want to do more to measure and report on the impact of our efforts. That way we can do more to help good causes and calculate – and celebrate – the difference we make.