Waitrose is donating staff hours to charities and causes in their local area.

Its partners will spend a total of 75,000 hours volunteering all over the UK and Channel Islands in 2012 – equivalent to 40 full time job roles.

The volunteers have been doing everything from transforming a woodland for hospice patients to to sharing retail and customer service skills with a local charity shops.  

All 276 of Waitrose’s branches will participate, as well as its head office and distribution centres.

Every branch will choose the local good causes and charities that they would like to give support to, and charities and causes can also put themselves forward for support by filling in an application form at its welcome desk.

The Partner Volunteering scheme is part of the Waitrose community matters programme has seen the grocer donate over £10m to more than 30,000 charities and causes across the UK and Channel Islands.

Kevin Garrett, head of community projects at Waitrose, said: “As a democratic business it couldn’t be more fitting that we are launching this exciting new initiative to allow our partners to make choices about how they give something back to the communities they live and work in.”