The John Lewis Partnership has teamed up with the Samaritans to help the charity upgrade its shops and website.
Some 20 staff from John Lewis spent time over a ten-week period across the Samaritans’ 45 shops in the UK and Ireland, advising its volunteers on best practice.
Samaritans’ Leicester shop has also been spruced up with fixtures and fittings donated after a John Lewis store refurbishment.
John Lewis staff also advised on innovations Samaritans can make to create and sell merchandise online, including via eBay.
The scheme was arranged through the Partnership’s Golden Jubilee Trust, a volunteering programme set up in 2000.
Sarah Ball, Samaritans’ head of community and events fundraising, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity and we’re grateful to our team of John Lewis Partners for their time and expertise.
“Samaritans volunteers are at the heart of the local community and we rely on donations to ensure we’re there for people, now and in the future. World class retail expertise like this can help us get the very best out of our shops.”
Kate Warner, who has been project managing the John Lewis team, said: “This is a unique experience for twenty of our partners, who have never worked together before, to offer a wealth of retail experience in a different sector.
“Our team based in the shops have not only pulled together income generating ideas but also run training for Samaritans volunteers.”