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Community champion Mary loves making a difference by helping local charities and groups

Our Blantyre store's community champion Mary Sutherland writes about her role supporting dozens of different local groups, schools, groups and good causes...

By Mary Sutherland

September 23, 2020 08:17am
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Mary Sutherland Asda Blantyre

When I began working for Asda in February 2003 I mainly worked on the checkouts. After around 16 years of loving my job, I became the community champion for Blantyre in February 2019.

Over the last year, I have supported over 60 charities and organisations, and I can honestly say I have enjoyed every minute. In 2019 I raised a total of £9,191.25 for my local area. Blantyre is a wonderful place to live and work, with a great community spirit, which makes my job so much easier. The work we do is varied, and every day I have the chance to experience something new and exciting. One of the key charities I volunteer for is The Haven, which helps families with a loved one who has been given a life-limiting diagnosis.

Before Covid-19, I also volunteered with The Community Links Charity, who provide hot meals to those who otherwise would go without.

Within our community, there are many opportunities to get involved and one of the main aims of our work with charity groups, is helping children in the community who experience a chaotic home life as a result of alcohol or drugs. Being given the chance to help these children and to brighten their day, is one of my favourite parts about being a Community Champion.

My work with the Haven is very rewarding, as I get to help people at the very worst moments in their lives, and it is something we will always cherish. Being a representative of Asda within my community gives me great sense of pride and seeing the obvious difference the support makes to the community is absolutely amazing.

I am proud to say the work we do has a positive impact on each group we work with. During the Veg Heroes campaign, we got to take fruit and vegetables to Hyper Cyber, where many of the children had never tasted some of the produce.

I chatted with a young boy who had never tasted a banana before, so I sat with him as he enjoyed his first one. We discussed the texture and the smell of it before he tasted it. Something as simple as a banana can bring so much joy to some people, and it’s amazing to see the difference these small things make.

This Christmas the Asda Foundation will award six groups in the Blantyre area £300 each. Customers are invited to nominate their local charity, non-profit organisation or good cause who they felt have gone above and beyond in making sure that no one has been on their own throughout the pandemic. Nomination forms are now available from our Community board behind checkouts, or can be downloaded from https://www.asdafoundation.org/ or by emailing [email protected]. Nominations will close 30th September.

There are so many memories that make my work as a community champion worthwhile and encourage me to continue to help as much as I can. One of the most unforgettable days for me, was when we got a new speaker system installed for the East Kilbride Visually Impaired Group, which then allowed them to play bingo as a group. One of the members decided to say thank-you by singing all of us a song. It is moments like these that make working with Asda so special and motivate me to continue to be a community champion.

Overall I love my job, and am looking forward to see what it has in store for me in the years to come.

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