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Asda Foundation announces £750,000 investment to breathe new life into community spaces across the UK

  • Over 60 local projects have been awarded ‘Spaces and Places’ grants between £5k and £25k to bring communities together and help tackle isolation
  • Investment comes after research shows cost of living crisis impacting on time spent together in communities. 
  • Research shows families struggling with rising costs are scaling back plans and spending less time within their communities. 
June 23, 2022 08:19am
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Asda’s charity, Asda Foundation, is today announcing £750k of investment in 60 local community groups and charities across the UK, with the aim of transforming community spaces and places after customers said the cost-of-living crisis has impacted their social and community interaction.

Over 60 ‘Spaces and Places’ grants ranging from £5,000 to £25,000, have been awarded by the Asda Foundation to help bring communities together and combat isolation.

One group to benefit from investment is Headspace Bolton CIC*, pictured above,* who offer a safe space and creative outlet for people with experience of mental illness to come together. The centre offers a wide range of creative activities and workshops, including stand-up comedy, photography and film making.

They have been awarded £23,200 from Asda Foundation to carry out work on their building which will include new access ramps, upgraded bathroom and kitchen facilities, new staging, lighting, flooring and ceilings, and increased security and shutters.

Ginny Allende, Co-founder of Headspace Bolton CIC, said:“Wow, we’re so happy and grateful to receive a grant from the Asda Foundation, we can’t quite believe it! This grant will enable us to renovate and transform our space to create a warmer, safer environment and gives us the opportunity to make it our ‘home’.”

Research by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership is informing Asda’s Spaces & Places programme. The retailer made a philanthropic donation to fund a Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship looking at the way that supermarkets’ community programmes address challenges faced by communities. Early insights derived from interviews with community groups indicates meeting space affordability can be a significant barrier to bringing people together, and that the existence of a ‘trusted, neutral and accessible’ space for local groups to meet and interact is likely to be an important resource for community wellbeing.

Further research from Asda shows that 1 in 4 people feel that the cost of living has impacted connections to their local community and is already limiting social their social and leisure activities. The research shows that families are scaling back their plans to reduce costs and are, spending more time at home with families and spending less time within their communities. The research also shows that access to mental health support in communities is vital in order to ease loneliness and isolation

Alexandra Preston, Senior Manager Asda Foundation, says:“We know our communities are having a tough time right now with the rising cost of living, which is further increasing inequalities and the isolation experienced during the pandemic. Small grass roots organisations play a vital role in making positive change and improving people’s lives every day. They understand the needs in their community and are constantly adapting to meet those needs.

“Community groups and our wider research is clearly telling us telling us that having safe, inclusive spaces to meet, learn, celebrate and come together builds connection and resilience in their community. The challenge for many of these groups is having the affordable space to bring people together to deliver this fantastic work - that’s why we’re investing £750k in breathing new life into community spaces across the UK”

Asda has also installed community rooms in eight stores around the UK and plan to create three more by the end of the year, using excess store space. The community rooms are made available to local charities and community groups that need a reliable space to host talks, meetings and other kinds of activities.

ENDS

For further information contact Clair Hufton, Asda Press Office, [email protected] or 07731 981268

Notes to Editors

  • Here’s a video of Asda Bolton Community Champion, Lorraine Smith surprising Headspace with their cheque for £23,200:
  • Asda’s charity, Asda Foundation is an independent charity with more than 30 years’ history of helping people. The Asda Foundation aims to transform communities and improve lives throughout the UK, complementing Asda Stores’ ambition to be at the heart of local communities. Through grant giving, the Asda Foundation provides funding to grassroots organisations, building community resilience and supporting in times of need.
  • About Creating Change for Better
    Creating Change for Better is Asda’s promise to build a better world and a more sustainable future through all that it does. As Asda’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) programme, Creating Change for Better covers Asda’s activity to protect and conserve the world around us and work towards a Better Planet; to remove the barriers to opportunity, health and happiness and help colleagues, customers and communities to enjoy Better Lives, and to operate responsibly and transparently, and build an even Better Business.
  • All of the Asda Foundation Spaces and Places grants falls under three categories – transforming an outdoor space, renovating a place or repairing a space, with projects ranging from fixing broken windows to enhancing the facilities and outdoor space for example.

Examples of the different grants include:

Repairing a Space

Pan Together on the Isle of Wight will use a £5000 grant to improve the quality of a building that the group operates from, providing a warmer and safer feeling environment for service users. Funding will make such a huge difference, helping us to replace rotting windows and doors which have become dilapidated and are in a state of disrepair. This will make the rooms warmer and more welcoming for volunteers, members, centre users, visitors and staff as well as lifting spirits and reducing heating bills which will help them become more sustainable in the long term to enable them to continue our vital services for people in the local community.

Renovating a Space

Headspace Bolton CIC received an Asda Foundation grant for £23,200. Headspace offers an exciting and creative outlet for people with lived experience of mental illness and will use funding to renovate and transform their space to continue running workshops, performances and enable people to exhibit their work. The work includes a new access ramp, upgrades to bathroom and kitchen facilities, new and new staging. This grant will enable to renovate and transform their space to create a warmer, safer environment and gives them the opportunity to make it their ‘home’.

Transforming an outside Space

The Gateway Collective in Bootle runs a community garden space, growing veggies which are shared with the community or cooked to give meals and will use £14,750 to build a kitchen and outdoor classroom within the garden space. Cooking and eating together is an integral part of their sessions helping to create community togetherness and combatting food poverty, however without a kitchen they rely on camping stoves and have to cook outside. This grant will fund a fully fitted kitchen which is ready to use. A new kitchen has so many benefits including helping us to increase our reach, opening a cafe and enabling them to use the space during the cold winter months.

Asda Toryglen (pictured) have surprised Burnhill Action Group with a £7000 donation on behalf of the Asda Foundation that will allow the group to create a community shelter in their gardens, allowing children and young people a place to come together throughout the year, where they can take part in educational workshops about sustainable growing, as well as arts and crafts sessions

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