Our Edmonton store's community champion Jess Drake is a passionate supporter of a north London community centre offering a range of services to improve the quality of young people's lives – so she helped lay on a special surprise to spread a little extra Christmas cheer.
Earlier this year Jess helped Youth & Community Connexions secure a £25,000 grant from the Asda Foundation to upgrade the kitchen and other rooms. And now she's led the way as we transformed a storage room into a gym and fitness suite in time for the Christmas holidays.
The room was cleared and decorated, including new specialist flooring, and a local artist was commissioned to create a bespoke wall mural with motivational quotes to help inspire the young people using the facilities.
The centre, based in Edmonton Green shopping centre only a stone's throw from our store, is used by hundreds of young people aged from 11 to 19 and offers free and affordable community activities, services, workshops and events.
After the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new gym by the mayor of Edmonton Coun Doris Jiagge, members were given a boxing demonstration before enjoying Christmas party food and a disco with a DJ.
Jess said: "They children were very happy. You could see it in their faces, especially when we opened the room, as no-one knew what the gym would look like. They really enjoyed themselves.
"The new room looks fantastic. The floor is brand new and the mural on the wall looks brilliant."
Cynthia Cobourn, director at Youth & Community Connexions, said: "The kids had a whale of time; they thoroughly enjoyed it.
"They are all looking forward to using the new gym.The kids love it, especially the graffiti mural.
"We'd really like to thank Jess and Asda for all their hard work and the help they have given us because if it wasn't for them we would not have been able to complete the room. The kids really appreciate what they have done."
In the run-up to Christmas our wonderful team of community champions like Jess 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.