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Ground-breaking charity partnership to create UK’s biggest health initiative


We are pleased to announce a new five-year strategic partnership with long-standing partner Tesco, alongside the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK, to tackle the UK’s biggest health challenges through behaviour change.

The partnership, 'Little helps for healthier living', will bring together the skills and expertise of the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Diabetes UK and Tesco to help lower the risk of heart and circulatory disease, cancer and Type 2 diabetes.

Over the next five years, the four organisations will work together to help Tesco’s 300,000 UK colleagues and millions of UK shoppers by removing barriers to healthier habits. Since 2015, Tesco shopping baskets have got healthier each year, and the new partnership will aim to speed up this progress with 'Little Helps' and make a lasting difference to Britain’s shopping baskets. 

A key starting point for this work will be to establish the UK’s leading workplace health programme, helping Tesco colleagues to be at their best at work and at home. The workplace health programme will build on a series of steps taken by Tesco over the last 12 months, including healthy deals and discounts, free health checks, and a growing focus on supporting the mental health of colleagues.

The four organisations have pledged to share the findings from their work across the wider UK health community to help accelerate progress towards national and international public health goals. The aim is to bring about a measurable improvement to the health of the nation, by developing 'Little Helps' and make a healthy difference to shopping baskets all over Britain.  

Dave Lewis, Chief Executive of Tesco, said: 

“I’m really excited by what we’re announcing today. This is a unique partnership, which will bring together the skills and expertise of the UK’s leading health charities and the UK’s leading food retailer to help tackle the biggest health challenges facing the nation. 

“Together with the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, and Diabetes UK, we want to help people take small steps on their own terms to develop healthier habits. It’s about unlocking the energy, expertise and reach of our different organisations to develop little helps that make healthy differences across the whole country.”

Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: 

“This powerful new partnership has the potential to meet, head on, some of the biggest health challenges facing people living in the UK today.

“Today is an exciting day. Together, we’ll be able to reach the millions of people at risk of Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, and help them make positive changes to their health in a way we’d never have been able to do working alone.”

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: 

“This unique partnership has the potential to significantly lower the risk of some of the UK’s deadliest diseases. Working together, we can create initiatives that inspire people to take steps to change their behaviour.

Measuring the impact of these initiatives could also pave the way for new and innovative strategies for empowering staff and communities to take control of their health in ways that can be adopted across the country.”   

Sir Harpal Kumar, Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, said: 

“This is a landmark moment in our relationship with Tesco, which has already run for an incredible 16 years. This new partnership has the potential to transform the health of millions of people. We’re excited about the opportunity to engage Tesco colleagues and customers across the UK, to increase awareness of cancer and encourage simple lifestyle changes that can help lower their risk of the disease. 
“The partnership builds on the success of Tesco’s longstanding commitment to Race for Life, which has already encouraged millions of women to get active across the country.”

Over the next five years, the new partnership will help to encourage and support sustainable, measurable changes in behaviour, through a series of targeted activities and campaigns aimed at reducing the risk of heart and circulatory disease, cancer and Type 2 diabetes. These will include:

  • Developing the UK’s leading workplace health programme for Tesco’s 300,000 UK colleagues
  • Aligning communication campaigns in store and online with national health campaigns
  • Training Tesco pharmacists to help them better support customers in the prevention and management of heart and circulatory disease, cancer and Type 2 diabetes
  • Sharing anonymised sales information to help develop insight on health policy and public health programmes
  • Fundraising for more health research – innovative and engaging fundraising initiatives that help customers and colleagues raise money for the three charities.
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