December 14th is Local Charities Day – recognising the great work charities do in the local community. Our stores' community champions across the country support hundreds of charities and good causes every day – giving their time and arranging financial support through our charitable arm the Asda Foundation.
This month, our colleagues have been spreading a little festive cheer by helping local charities and community groups to secure grants to make Christmas extra special for people who may otherwise have been on their own or going without.
Colleagues from our Beeston store in Leeds presented cheques totalling £1,000 to South Leeds Live at Home Scheme, so the group can provide Christmas food parcels to older, vulnerable members of the local community and help them feel less isolated and St Andrew’s Pantomime Group, a local pantomime group who needed funding for new costumes and props for this year’s performance of Snow White show.
Our Gosforth store’s community champion Michelle Castledine presented a cheque for £500 to the nearby St Aidan’s community centre.
Michelle said: “Thanks to the Asda Foundation Christmas funding we held a Christmas get-together, with all generations singing Christmas songs. There was lovely food, mulled wine and plenty cups of tea, as well as pass the parcel, a raffle and the children's dance group doing some entertaining."
Amy Openshaw, the community champion at our Clacton-on-Sea store, presented a £1,000 grant from the Asda Foundation to The Veterans Breakfast Club to provide a three-course Christmas meal and a gift for local veterans. It’s a cause that’s really dear to lots of colleagues at the store.
Amy said: “They were overwhelmed and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. The breakfast club they attend started when they were asked to open our store and now we have a really great relationship.”
In Aberdeen, our Middleton Park store's community champion Jan Criag helped the Royal British Legion's Oldmachar branch apply for and receive a Christmas grant for £400 for a party for senior citizens.
Jan lent a hand at the party and said: "I tell you what, these people know how to have a good time! I had a great afternoon serving up goodies and having a good old blether!"
In Chorley, Sharon Neill from our Clayton Green store presented a cheque for £1,000 to Inspire Youth Zone. She said: “They were extremely happy to receive the cheque. It means that the most vulnerable families will get to have a fantastic Christmas dinner, gifts and create some lovely memories.”
Katy Trapani, the community champion at our Havant store, presented a grant for £1,000 from the Asda Foundation to The Beacon Elderly Active Group, paying for food and gifts for each attendee at their Christmas party.
Zoe Scarisbrick, the community champion at our Peterhead store, was excited to present her first cheque from the Asda Foundation – a donation to the Salvation Army for a Christmas meal and gift.
Zoe said: "It's great to see the local impact grant going towards a great cause!"
Our Greenhithe store’s community champion Bridget Sparks presented a cheque for £400 for a Christmas party for the Willow Ward at Darent Valley Hospital. She said: “There were lots of happy children!”
Here’s Jo Thexton, community champion at our Bridgwater store, presenting £440 to Oak Trees Care Home in Bridgwater to go towards audio books and games:
Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice received a cheque for £1,000 from our Huddersfield store’s manager Paul Garnett and community champion Anne Hodkin. The money helped pay for a Christmas party for 250 children and their brothers and sisters.
Our Hounslow store’s community champion Varindar Kaur presented a cheque for £650 to Hounslow Toy Library. The money will go towards new toys, games or puzzles that can be hired out.
Donna Dargue, the community champion at our Spennymoor store, presented a cheque for £1,000 to The Whistling Teapot at St Paul’s Centre. She said: "The money will be spent on Christmas dinners, games and table settings as the centre is opening on Christmas Day for those that are in their own.”
Our Thornaby store’s community champion Cathryn Abel donated £600 from the Asda Foundation to Five Lamps for a Christmas meal for the elderly:
Lisa Kirkpatrick from our Falmouth store presented a £500 Christmas grant to Cornwall Neighbourhood for Change – a community group helping feed and comfort people in need.
And the Crafty Folk Club at Windhill Community Centre received a cheque for £950 from our Shipley store’s community champion Mandy Godfrey for their Christmas fair.
Mandy, who volunteers with the group every week, said: “The group are ecstatic with our support. The Christmas fair was really enjoyable, and I even met Santa Claus! It was lovely to see the looks on children’s faces as they met Sant and got a little present.”