A big thank you to all our customers and colleagues who've been supporting our annual collection for Help for Heroes in our stores.
Volunteers from the charity for injured servicemen and women have been holding collections in our stores for eight years and were in our stores to raise money and awareness this weekend.
Many of our colleagues have links to the Armed Forces themselves – like our Dunfermline store's manager Jim Carchrie, who was in the Royal Marines for eight years and served in Iraq during the first Gulf War and is a passionate supporter of Help for Heroes.
Jim, who's 47, said: "The best thing I ever did was get my green beret. That's where I learned how to work as a team. Colleagues know about my military background, I'm really proud of it.
"I left school when I was 17, and was in the Marines for eight years. I was a soldier, then for the last two and a half years I was a radio operator.
"In my view it was a single man's life, and I was getting married and starting a family, so I was looking for a change. I got a diploma in security management, got a job as a security manager at Asda and worked my way up.
"I've worked for Asda for 18 years now. I never joined looking to become a store manager – it just happened. I saw other people do it, and thought I could do it too.
"The work ethos I learned in the military still applies now. In my current role I'm responsible for just under 400 colleagues, so you need good teamwork, you need to be disciplined and you need passion and pride.
"The best thing about working at Asda is there are so many opportunities. There are lots of different roles at lots of different levels, so it's up to you how high you want to climb the ladder. Hard work pays dividends."
Nearly 300 of our stores welcomed volunteers from Help for Heroes to raise money this weekend. In Falmouth, volunteer Mark Holley played his saxphone to support the charity:
Generous customers at our Colchester store raised £1,700 for the charity this weekend:
Hero Bear made a special appearance at Asda Halifax, helping the store's community champion Amanda Clegg raise money for the charity:
There were three generations of one family collecting for Help for Heroes in our Cheltenham store, with Lucy bringing along her mum and nan for support:
Hero Bear also made an apperance at our Reddish store – doing a spot of shopping while there:
Here's a selection of photos from the Help for Heroes collection weekend in some of our other stores:
Heroes Vodka: Asda shoppers can show their support for veterans while doing the weekly shop by picking up a bottle of Heroes Vodka, available in more than 350 Asda stores across the UK. The charitable business was founded by forces veteran Chris Gillan, with a minimum of 20% of Heroes’ profits donated to UK armed forces’ causes. They also run work placement programmes for former servicemen and women who have struggled with the transition to civilian life.
Shortly before the collection weekend Heroes were delighted to host a visit from HRH the Duke of York who wanted to show his support for their work, and Asda were invited along to help celebrate our partnership.