Our Barrow store's community champion Gill Gerrish is a passionate supporter of Age UK – running cooking classes, delivering food parcels during lockdown and making regular phone calls to check elderly people on their own are okay – and now she's been presented with an award by the charity to thank her for everything.
Gill, who has worked at our store for 31 years and has been community champion since 2012, was presented with a Making A Difference Award by Age UK Barrow & District for all the good work that she does in the local area.
She said: "To say I was gobsmacked would be an understatement! I have worked with this charity from day one of taking on the role as community champion.
"Before Covid I held a cooking class for vulnerable elderly gentlemen, which not only taught them new skills but enabled them to meet and chat with their peers, breaking down the barriers of isolation.
"When the pandemic struck I continued to support them with donations for the food parcels they delivered to those that were isolating in the community, together with making them aware of the Asda Foundation grants that were available, and helping them to apply for them.
"I began befriending the clients, giving them a weekly call to check that they were okay and if they needed anything delivered such as prescriptions. It was also good for them to have a catch up with what was happening on the outside world.
"Receiving this award on behalf of Asda acknowledges the role that we community champions have in our local communities. We really do make a difference!"
Jackie Martin, head of Age UK Barrow, said Gill was "invaluable" and thoroughly deserved the award.
She said: "Gill has just been absolutely wonderful. Before the pandemic she ran a gentleman's cookery club with us which was very popular and during the pandemic she also helped to provide food for food parcels too.
"She is also a telephone befriending volunteer for Age UK Barrow and takes time out of her week to call people each for a friendly chat and have a nice conversation with them to stop them from getting lonely."
Asda Barrow's deputy manager Chris Webber said everyone at the store was delighted for Gill to receive this recognition from the charity.
He said: "She does a great job in the store and plays such an active part in the Barrow community. It's really nice that she'd been honoured for all her hard work."