Thank you to all our customers and colleagues who’ve been sharing wonderful Christmas stories with us over the last few weeks – like the moment six-year-old Eve Taylor saw Santa and his elves arrive in an Asda delivery van.
Eve loves our green vans – she calls them “apple vans” – so colleagues at our Brierley Hill store in Dudley invited her to a special festive party and gave her the chance to sit in the cab with one of Santa’s elves. Read more here.
Our fantastic colleagues have been getting customers in the Christmas spirit by organising all sorts of festive fun in our stores – just like the fab group of colleagues at our Frome store, who have formed an Asda Choir and have been performing carols for local community groups.
The store's community champion Jackie Bryant is a member of the choir and said: "We've sung carols in four nursing homes, one sheltered housing centre and at Active and In Touch's Christmas lunch – a group which aims to help and befriend people who have become isolated or out of touch with the community around them. We've also performed in store."
Children from Blacklow Brow Primary School and Roby Park Primary School joined the charity Deaf Active to use sign language to perform traditional Christmas carols at our Huyton store:
Cardwell School Choir performed Christmas carols for shoppers at our Charlton store:
And youngsters from Orchard Grove Kindergarten performed festive songs for colleagues and customers at our Toryglen store:
Our brilliant colleague Derek Plumridge has been getting customers at our Langley Mill store in Nottingham into the Christmas spirit by singing festive songs in the foyer.
David Boulter from our Pershore store has been putting smiles on lots of faces this Christmas too.
He's known as David the Singing Checkout Man because he loves singing to them while they're at his checkout. Find out more here.
Our community champions have been popping in to give local causes a helping hand at their Christmas events – like our Gosforth store's community champion Michelle Castledine, who helped out at a Christmas meal hosted by Vinnie's Cafe, a drop-in cafe helping homeless and vulnerable people.
Thanks to the Asda Fight Hunger Create Change programme, which is investing £20 million in food charities FareShare and The Trussell Trust over the next three years, FareShare now have a larger site in Newcastle, giving them more space and enabling them to receive more chilled food to donate to good causes like Vinnie's Cafe.
Our Harrogate store's community champion Angela Smith joined in the festive fun with guests at Bilton Church Lunch Club's Christmas lunch:
We've had a flurry of Santa lookalikes working in our stores this December – like Jimmy Smith at our Wrexham store who loves making people smile by dressing up as Santa.
Jimmy said: "This is my fourth year as Santa and I love it because you see the kids just look at you and they're overawed. Some people ask if they can have their picture taken with me and that makes me very happy." Read more here.
Here's Rick Morgan getting into the Christmas spirit at our Gillingham Pier store:
And here's our Carlisle store's very own Mrs Christmas Neiliann Robinson, who loves bringing smiles to the faces of everyone at the store by dressing up in increasingly festive Christmas outfits throughout December:
Everyone at our Bootle store got in the Christmas spirit by dressing up for Elf Day to raise money and awareness for the Alzheimer's Society. It's a cause which is particularly close to the heart of our customer services colleague Val Banks, whose mother-in-law Doreen has dementia. Val said: “Everyone really pulled out all the stops to help support such a wonderful charity – despite having to look ridiculous in the process."
Thank you to everyone who's supported this year's gift appeal in our stores across the country.
Our Southport store received more than 500 presents which will be donated to the local Salvation Army and Sefton Childrens Trust by community champion Sharon Gregory-Wareing:
Customers and colleagues were also very generous at our Sutton in Ashfield store. Here's Diane from The Summer House Children's Centre collecting presents from community champion Hayley Carrington:
Heaton Norris Salvation Army picked up toys at our Reddish store:
Our fabulous community champions have also been delivering Christmas hampers to local groups, organisations and charities. Here's Jo Scott from our Pwllheli store delivering mince pies to the team at Bryn Beryl Hospital:
Generous customers and colleagues at our Chatham store donated toys to Medway Hospital to be given to children who are there for Christmas - here's the store's community champion Leonie Samways passing them on to the team:
Carolyn Taylor donated goodies to Balmoor Gymnastics Club at our Fraserburgh store:
Colleagues from our stores in north east England presented Crisis, the national charity for homeless people, with a cheque for more than £200,000 to help people over Christmas.
Community champions have also been helping out local good causes by presenting them with Asda Foundation donations for their festive events – like Tracie Borg at Leyton Mills.
Tracie joined The Leyton Pensioners for their Christmas party, which was partly funded by a £480 donation:
Jill Brady from our Pilsworth store presented Souper Lunch group with a £500 Asda Foundation cheque, which will help pay for their Christmas party for homeless and vulnerable people in the area:
And our Falmouth store's community champion Lisa Kirkpatrick organised a grant from the Asda Foundation so that Constantine Social Club could host its traditional Christmas lunch for local senior citizens – and here she is helping serve meals to some of the guests.
The club's chairman Dick Just said: "Without this donation from Asda and the support of the volunteers, it is unlikely that we would have been able to run this lunch this year." Read more here.
We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!