Our Bury St Edmunds store’s community champion Michelle Frost handed over the keys to a minibus which the volunteers working to transform an estate in the town say is “making a massive difference” to their efforts.
The Priors Estate Action Group bought the bus with a surprise £10,000 donation they were given by the Asda Foundation last Christmas. It means they can organise day trips for elderly people who might otherwise be isolated and they've been able to set up a new football team for children living on the estate.
Michelle works closely with Janice Scott and the volunteers at the estate action group. She volunteers regularly with the group, nominated them to receive the grant from the Asda Foundation last Christmas and, along with store manager Kevin Kappes, was on hand to give Janice the keys as she picked up the minibus.
Janice said: "The minibus has been put to use straightway, and is already making a massive difference to our group.
"We've been using it to take children from the estate to football training. Twenty seven children turned up for the first session, so we're hoping to form a couple of teams. Then we can use the minibus to take them to matches too.
"We've also been using it to take elderly people to bingo, and we'll also taking people from the estate, young and old, on days out to the coast, Woburn Abbey and a local air displays plus other activities too.
"We're so grateful to Michelle, and everyone at Asda, for all of their help.”
Janice set up the group three years ago, and together with other volunteers has turned the area around by organising fun community activities, refurbishing play areas and hosting sports days and other events. Last year she received a community award for her work.
Michelle said: "It was great to see Janice and the group picking up the keys to the minibus. I know what a difference it will make to everyone on the estate. It's being put to such good use already, which is fantastic.”