St Patrick's Day surprise for the Irish community group tackling loneliness

March 19, 2018

Four of our community champions teamed up to arrange a special St Patrick's Day surprise for the tireless volunteers at an Irish club supporting elderly people in London who might otherwise lonely and isolated.

They helped look after 150 guests at a St Patrick's Day party at the Irish Community Services' lunch club before presenting the organisers with a £1,000 donation from the Asda Foundation to help fund other activities for the group.

Caroline Pettican, community champion at our Charlton store, regularly volunteers at the charity's lunch club – and she was joined by colleagues Zoe Harper, Tracey Jacques and Barbara Gill from our stores in Belvedere, Sutton and Bexleyheath, who all helped at the party.

Ellen Stafford, director of Irish Community Services, said: "Caroline is an amazing ambassador for Asda – all of our guests at the lunch club love her. I can't speak highly enough of her – she's a star!

"The cheque was a wonderful surprise. We always struggle to fund the trips to the coast for our guests, and this money will help massively."

Ann Marie Kiely is the group's lunch club coordinator and said: "It was a great day! We had a full house, and the four colleagues did all sorts to help us. It's been brilliant to have them here.

"We are a charity which organises welfare and support services to combat social isolation, get people out of the house and meet people. Our lunch clubs are held four times a week in different boroughs across London.

"Caroline is absolutely fantastic. She joins our Thursday lunch club every week and helps me, gives out the meals, and chats to people. If someone has an issue she tells me so I can help them out.

Caroline, who's volunteered with the group since last summer, said: "This group are just the best to be involved with – I've got a real soft spot for them and I look to help them in any way I can.

"Every time I volunteer with them, the elderly guests come up to me and say these events give them the chance to get out of the house and socialise; they're really grateful and I'm really happy to help."

Take a look at more photos from the St Patrick's Day party in this special picture gallery:

  • Happy St Patrick's Day!
    Happy St Patrick's Day!
  • Tracey from our Sutton store dancing with Mayor of Bexley, Councillor Peter Reader
    Tracey from our Sutton store dancing with Mayor of Bexley, Councillor Peter Reader
  • Barbara from our Bexleyheath store with guests at the party
    Barbara from our Bexleyheath store with guests at the party
  • Guests dancing at the party
    Guests dancing at the party
  • Joining hands around the table
    Joining hands around the table
  • Smiles all round at the party
    Smiles all round at the party
  • Thumbs up from the Asda community champions
    Thumbs up from the Asda community champions
  • Guests enjoyed a hot meal
    Guests enjoyed a hot meal
  • Dancing for joy on St Patrick's Day
    Dancing for joy on St Patrick's Day
  • Zoe from Asda Belvedere with two guests
    Zoe from Asda Belvedere with two guests
  • Chatting at the party
    Chatting at the party
  • Guests at the St Patrick's Day party
    Guests at the St Patrick's Day party




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