This Christmas our colleagues are helping many of the charities and community groups who couldn't be together as normal during the pandemic celebrate those special moments they missed out on over the last two years.
Our Magical Moments campaign is helping bring communities back together to celebrate those special moments that mean so much at Christmas.
As part of this, Asda’s charity, Asda Foundation is set to donate £1 million to over 2,500 grassroots community groups supporting more than 400,000 people over the festive period – many of whom were isolated or alone last Christmas.
Some of this funding will enable local community groups to hold celebration events to reunite and reconnect people after such a long time apart, all supported by an army of instore Asda Community Champions who will help to make the celebrations more magical.
To launch the campaign, we surprised six community groups across the UK with an Extra Special ‘magical moment’ that helped to bring their group back together and celebrate in the run up to Christmas.
One of the groups that Asda surprised was Rugby Rebels, a group of young children and adults with disabilities who play tag rugby on a weekly basis in Telford. The group hasn’t been able to play over the last year due to lockdown. So Asda, along with the local community champion, June Walker, turned up to their training session to surprise them with new brand kit for winter. World Cup winning rugby star, Jason Robinson, also attended. He ran their training session, giving them some extra hints and tips as well as having a bit of fun with the team.
Val Edgley, joint secretary of the Rebels, said everyone from the team were thrilled by the surprise. She said: "We can't thank June and Asda enough, we really can't. What they've done has been amazing.
"The kids really, really enjoyed the training with Jason, and they each had a photo taken with him and his medal but the icing on the cake was when they brought out the hoodies and jackets and everything, it was fantastic. Where we train in winter is really cold, so this new kit is brilliant. The team will be able to wear them when they go to tournaments too.
"It was tough for the group through the pandemic because we had to stop for a while, but it's great to be back and it's great to get so much support from Asda."
Another group who received a magical surprise was Home-Start in East Lancashire. During the pandemic Home-Start set up cookery lessons and various other activities for children and parents on zoom. Every single family needed support with either combating domestic abuse, child poverty or with mental health issues, so closing the group wasn’t an option.
Our Colne store arranged a cooking class with famous French chef Jean-Christophe Novelli and then surprised the group with a visit from Santa and his elves to give each family everything they need for Christmas Day. He arrived with food hampers and a sack full of toys for the children to take home to put under the tree – leaving many of the parents in tears.
Alexandra Preston from the Asda Foundation said: “The best part of our work is seeing what a difference coming together makes. It’s been nice to see people getting back face-to-face and to help give them the support they need.
“For us, it’s about much more than the money we donate. We’re investing in the future of the groups we support, and we want to help them in a hands-on way as much as possible, to keep community groups together and create magical moments to cherish this Christmas.”
In a recent survey asking customers how they were feeling about coming together this Christmas, it was clear that many were hoping to make up for lost time with 62 per cent saying they’re planning to celebrate with family outside of their household this year. Many want to make this festive season the most magical yet, but for community groups across the UK, a feeling of togetherness this Christmas means so much and is why the Asda Foundation has invested over £1 million in the run up to Christmas.
The study also found that when thinking of ways to help within their communities this Christmas, 36 per cent wanted to see more food collections for local families in need and a quarter wanted to see more community activities and events.