The Asda Foundation's Green Token Giving customer vote which donates £1.4 million to local charities and good causes across the country each year is back – with a new website so more people can vote for their favourite local group.
Our usual in-store vote is still on pause, but following a successful trial earlier this year we've launched the website – https://www.asda.com/green-tokens – so customers can vote from the comfort of their own home and online shoppers can take part as well.
The latest round of voting opens on June 1 and runs until the end of July. The winners of each store's vote receive £500 from the Asda Foundation and the two runners-up are given £200 each.
Our community champions are delighted that the scheme is back online and say it makes a big difference to the local groups it helps.
June Walker, our Donnington Wood store's community champion, said: "I think it's great that green tokens are back online – it shows that normality is returning at long last.
"Groups such as sports clubs, which normally do bag packing, have missed out on so much fundraising during the pandemic, so it's great that they can win some cash.
"Going digital is really moving with the times as more and more people are doing things online now, so this will boost groups' online presence too.
"Green Token Giving has always been great for local community groups and it shows that Asda is not just a supermarket which sells you beans and your bread. We are there to support the community."
She says groups and good causes which had received green token funding in the past like the fact that it has helped build lasting relationships with Asda.
June said: "One of my charities, which was on the green tokens going back eight or nine years ago, was PODs (Parents Opening Doors), a charity which helps children with learning difficulties. Our relationship we have with them now is flourishing and that's all stemmed from the green tokens.
"All the groups that receive money through the green tokens are always so very grateful. It's nice that we can get to support smaller, local good causes and charities which really do benefit. So staying local is key!"
The digital green tokens launch follows a successful trial in selected stores earlier this year. Asda Pwllheli was one of the participating stores – here's the store's community champion Jo Scott presenting Cyfle Support Services with a cheque for £500 after they topped the website vote:
Jane Watkinson from the group, which provides tenancy and housing support to young people, said: "I want to say a big thank you to everyone who voted for us. This donation will be used as emergency grants for young people to access tenancy support using our drop-in service in Pwllheli. It's going to go a long way towards improving young people's health and wellbeing. I want to encourage you all to support this activity and get voting online for your favourite cause. It's going to make such a big difference to many local services. Thank you Asda Foundation."
Our Dundee Kirkton store's community champion Samantha Will is delighted to see the return of the green token vote.
She said: "I can't wait for its return. It's really going to help the groups which have not been able to run properly during the pandemic.
"We've had quite a few schools that have won in the past and they've been so grateful such as Care View Nursery which used the money to buy some outdoor equipment and toys which they really need.
"Groups love it as it is local people who are voting. They get to know that local people are really positive about what they are wanting to use the money for. When people vote for them it makes them realise that they are doing the right thing.
"The schools that we have helped have all been in this area and parents and carers all come to our store to do their shopping. Being local makes it much more personal."
Stephen Bromby, our Boston store's community champion, said: "The green tokens are one of the most visible ways customers can see how we support our local communities, so I'm really happy they're back online.
"Customers have a direct impact on who receives the grants – they can nominate a good cause and then vote for how the funds should be allocated – so the difference is tangible.
"Green tokens support local groups and it can make a world of difference, not just financially but in terms of having their name promoted in the local community and building awareness of what they do."
Grace Wypych, community champion at our Leyton Mills store, says she's "super excited" by the return of the green tokens online.
She said: "It's so great to see the tokens back. A lot of the groups that I've been working with during the pandemic have been asking me when the green tokens are coming back, so I know they've missed them. Going digital means more people will be able to vote and support their favourite local groups.
"Because of the pandemic, local groups are finding it hard and have been looking for every bit of support they can. For some groups like the Hackney Hygiene Bank, that I support, £200 for them is a huge amount of money at the moment."
Our Warrington store's community champion Liz Cotterill says using the green tokens was always a highlight for many customers' children.
She said: "I know lots of customers have missed the green tokens and have been asking about them at the tills, so I think it's really clever to offer it digitally so that even more people can take part.
"Green Token Giving celebrates the smaller groups, so it makes a big difference to them and will help them get back on their feet after everything we've all been through over the last year."
Our Gosforth store's community champion Michelle Castledine says the return of Green Token Giving means a lot to local groups, schools and good causes.
She said: "As soon as I put up a note on my community board saying the green tokens were coming back in digital form I was inundated with nominations! I've already got enough to fill it for the rest of this year and some of next year!
"The smaller local groups have been really badly affected over the last year and they've missed out on some of the other fundraising activities they normally rely on, so this is a big first step towards normality.
"I think the fact that it's going digital will help groups get more involved too, as they'll want all their members, friends and families to vote for them, so I'm sure more people will take part now."
Gemma Gray, community champion at our Dagenham store, said: "We are all very excited to get the green tokens back and I'm 100 per cent behind it going online.
"For some of the charities and good causes, getting funding from the green tokens is a lifeline. For example, the PTA of a local school will use the money to help put on a fundraising event which in turn raises even more money.
"Over the last three years I've had more than 20 charities and good causes up on the green tokens board and each and everyone of them have really appreciated it.
"The causes are always very, very local and they love the excitement of being involved with the green tokens and being supported by Asda!"
To nominate a local charity or good cause for future Green Token Giving votes, please go to www.asdafoundation.org/how-to-apply and fill in a Nominate a Cause Form. And to vote for your favourite local good cause go here: https://www.asda.com/green-tokens