A big thank you to all the generous customers and colleagues who’ve been supporting BBC Children in Need this month.
Community champions at our stores across the country have hosted teddy bears’ picnics and organised instore games and activities to raise money and awareness for the charity appeal.
Money raised at Asda supports BBC Children in Need’s Power of Play campaign, funding projects that will support thousands of disadvantaged children across the UK to develop vital life skills through play. Playing is an essential part of childhood development. But research shows that there aren’t enough accessible, safe, play opportunities across the UK and that children from disadvantaged backgrounds are the most likely to miss out.
Ahead of National Playday on August 1st Sarah John from our Killingbeck store visited Leeds Mencap to see the difference your donations make.
Sarah said: “It was lovely joining in with their playgroup. I heard some amazing stories of how resilient the children and their families are – whether it’s a little boy who had heart operations as a baby or just seeing how much parents have to cope with and think about to care for their children – and it’s these stories that really help you understand just how important BBC Children in Need is."
Cath Lee, chief executive at Leeds Mencap, said: "BBC Children in Need funded the specialist playroom for children with learning disabilities - the Hawthorn specialist playroom.
"The money funds the play workers and makes a tangible difference to the children - without the funding the workers can't be there to work intensively with the children to help them develop.
"We've been around for 65 years and we've always supported children with learning disabilities and their families. The BBC Children in Need funding, supported by Asda, runs for three years. This has taken the pressure off us and allowed us to focus on the core of our work helping children realise their full potential, and support the family too.
"We're also looking at how we can develop this project further. At the moment the playroom is only open three days a week, and we meet the needs of 27 families with each child coming in once a week, and we'd love to help more people.
"Now our day to day costs are covered, we can focus on freeing our fundraisers up to concentrate on getting additional funding to help more children.
"The money raised is phenomenal and it's great to have Asda's help.”
In 2016 colleagues at our Killingbeck store helped Leeds Mencap apply for and receive an £18,000 Asda Foundation grant to improve their kitchen – and Sarah’s now looking into securing further support for a planned new outdoor play area.
She said: "It was really good to meet all the team at Leeds Mencap again, chat to them and see for myself how the money has been spent. They're a fantastic group and it’s so good to see that with their hard work and the support of Children in Need these youngsters can have the same experiences with play as any other child.”