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Tracey arranges surprise Christmas dinner and kitchen upgrade for community group

December 05, 2022 02:43 PM

Our Small Heath store's community champion Tracey Collins stepped in to spread Christmas cheer for members of a local older person's group by transforming their kitchen so they could host a proper Christmas party.

Tracey surprised WASPS (Wiley Avenue South People's group) in Darlaston by arranging for their kitchen facilities to be upgraded with a new cooker and dishwasher and then throwing a three-course Christmas dinner for their members to celebrate.

Margaret Sadler, who's secretary/treasurer of the group (pictured above), said: "It was absolutely wonderful. We're all still talking about it! Without Asda over the last few years we would have really struggled.

"We recently had a grant from the Asda Foundation for a new bingo machine and also featured in the Green Token Giving scheme – and now this! We can't thank Asda and Tracey enough. She has been absolutely wonderful, she really does her job as a community champion. She said to me 'you won it because you need it.'

"It's made such a difference having a new hob and a new oven. When we do our buffet nights we can do hot as well as cold. We won't have to wash up by hand anymore too! When they were all installed I just stood in the kitchen and thought this is wonderful. It's beautiful. We've a new carpet too; it all looks just wonderful.

Asda Spreading Christmas Cheer at Wasps Community Room

"Our members love it here. It's a nice place where they can come and be warm and socialise. We do bingo twice a week and a social evening once a month and now we have all these lovely facilities in the kitchen we are going to start doing a coffee morning in the new year. "

Thirty-six members, aged from 70 to 92, thought they were having a cold Christmas buffet when they arrived at the Community Centre in Wiley Avenue – and Margaret says they were all delighted when they realised that Tracey had other ideas.

Margaret said: "Welcoming us in were carol singers all dressed in Victorian costume. It was all decorated inside with balloons and Christmas trees. It was amazing! All they thought they were getting a cold Christmas lunch – and I couldn't tell them as it was all a secret.

"We had a lovely three-course meal prepared by outside caterers – and the Christmas pudding was beautiful, I've never tasted one as nice. After our meal we were entertained by a crooner."

Tracey helped to serve the Christmas dinner on the day along with fellow community champions Michaela Hawthorne, Denise Alder, Bella Thomas, Ellen Crooks and Maireny Quinchia from our Queslett, Minworth, Perry Barr, Cape Hill and Tipton stores.

Tracey, pictured below, said: "When the guests came in they were so surprised as they thought they were just going to have a cold buffet rather than a sit-down Christmas meal. It was lovely to sit and chat with them all too. It was an amazing day.

"They were all over the moon as the new kitchen too as it will make such a massive, massive difference to them. It's a really warm place where the elderly can come and now have hot food rather than just a sandwich and a snack."

In the run-up to Christmas our wonderful team of community champions like Tracey have been spreading Christmas cheer with some of the local good causes they work closely with by offering more support and securing Asda Foundation grants.