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Helping the local community is a 'privilege' for Emma from Asda Gillingham

Emma Sleeth from our Gillingham store in Dorset was one of our first Asda community champions – and as our community programme celebrates its 10th anniversary she says it's a privilege to be able to support her local area.

May 31, 2022 03:25pm
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Emma, who received a British Citizen Award in 2020, has helped countless local groups, schools, charities and good causes over the last decade, offering her time, support, donations from the store, and helping them apply for larger grants from the Asda Foundation.

She said: "I feel privileged to be able to have such a fulfilling role in Asda and my local community. I have helped many people and organisations in many varied groups from the food bank, schools, care homes and churches – all different walks of life.

"I am proud of making a difference whether that is litter picking, facilitating chat in a social isolation group, running activities with dementia residents or fundraising. I do my role knowing that I am making a difference in my local community."

Emma's a passionate supporter of our Tickled Pink breast cancer charity campaign, which raises money and awareness for Breast Cancer Now and CoppaFeel!, and helped arrange a number of fundraising fashion shows, as well as completing a London to Brighton bike ride.

Asda Gillingham community champion Emma Sleeth

She's also worked closely with local groups helping people who may otherwise be lonely or isolated.

Emma said: "One of the activities that I am most proud of was helping setting up an afternoon of Tovertafel magic with Dementia Friendly Gillingham and the former activities lead at St Martins the Grange Care Home.

"The Tovertafel table was developed for people with cognitive challenges. It was great to see the residents and community interacting together and having fun. This group has helped with social isolation and bringing people out that normally wouldn't get to meet anyone.

"St Martins Care Home was one of the first groups that I helped, and I used to do weekly activities there. This care home was relocated and is now called Fernbrook Lodge.

"Up until the start of the pandemic I would go every Friday to facilitate an activity, like bingo, poems, craft, baking, reminiscing with objects or pictures from the past. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to return yet, but I write to several of the residents just to keep in contact.

"I also help at a day care centre called the Rosemary Goddard Centre where old people from the local community twice a week for social inclusion and activities."

Emma was given the British Citizen Award during the height of the pandemic in 2020.

She said: "I was so touched to receive the British Citizen Award. It was in recognition of my community work, but it was a surprise and a privilege to receive."

Emma says it's always lovely to hear when people appreciate her support.

She said: "One highlight which put a smile on my face was during the pandemic when Hit The Ambulance Gamers sent a picture through to the store from four-year-old Toby, who lives in Lincoln. He sent me a special thank you even though we are miles away from his home town for being a hero during the pandemic."

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