- Asda and Asda Foundation invests £2.4m into local communities to spread festive cheer
- Over 1 million £1 café meals served to children and OAPs averaging 50,000 meals a week
Asda, and its charity, The Asda Foundation is spreading festive cheer to good causes this Christmas by investing over £2.4 million to support communities who are impacted by the rising cost of the living.
The investment from the Asda Foundation is supporting over 2000 grassroots groups continue their work in communities despite rising running costs.
Asda has also visited five community groups across the UK to give them an extra special surprise to help with events or makeovers that couldn’t happen due lack of funding, from Winter Wonderland parties to transforming community rooms.
One of the groups surprised was WASPS Community Group in Darlaston, Birmingham where 76-year-old volunteer Margaret, helps to run regular sessions that provide companionship and activities for the local elderly community. The centre didn’t have any working cooking facilities and Margaret had to hand-wash all the crockery. Asda surprised the group by upgrading their kitchen with a new cooker, new dishwasher, new work surfaces, redecorating their community room and new carpets. Margaret was preparing to put on a cold buffet for the groups Christmas party, but Asda stepped in and provided a chef to prepare and cook a hot three course Christmas lunch.
In addition to the direct investment into communities, Asda has also invested in ‘in store’ initiatives to help customers and communities combat the rising cost of living. Its Kids Eat for £1 and OAP Winter Warmer Café £1 meal deal have hit a staggering 1 million meals served since June. The £1 café deals are averaging around 50,000 meals a week as 89% of people say the rise in the cost of living is the biggest concern for them*.
Community groups who may otherwise struggle to meet due to rising energy costs are also being invited to Asda cafes. Warm spaces have been made available on weekdays across November and December from 2pm to 6pm and all community group members who visit receive a free tea or coffee.
Mohsin Issa, Asda’s co-owner, said: “We have launched these initiatives to support our customers and communities this winter as we know it’s going to be incredibly hard for many people due to rising living costs. We have already served more than a million meals through our Kids Eat for £1 and Winter Warmers deals, and we hope that many more families and over 60s will visit in December to take advantage of these offers.
"On top of this, we’ve invested £2.4 million through Asda and the Cost-of-Living grant programme led by Asda’s charity, The Asda Foundation who are support grassroots organisations providing a lifeline in their communities during these tough times."
Notes to Editors
*Research from Asda’s October customer mindset tracker
Community Group Surprises
The details of the Five Community Group surprises are:
• The Art Works Gallery Community Centre, in Rotherham
The centres previously organised a breakfast club to provide a breakfast to this adult group and to other adults in need of a wholesome breakfast. This had to stop through a lack of funding. Asda brought “Christmas Cheer” to the Art Works community centres by funding the Breakfast Club for 2023 (£12k). To celebrate the contribution Asda put on a special “Breakfast with Santa”
• Wasps Community Room, Darlaston, Birmingham
Margaret is a 76-year-old volunteer at the Wasps Community Centre who with her colleagues provides companionship and activities for the local elderly community.
The centre currently has no oven facilities and Margaret has to hand-wash all of the crockery. Asda acknowledged the fantastic work that Margaret undertakes by giving the kitchen an upgrade with a new cooker and new dishwasher with new work surfaces and the community room has been decorated and has new carpet. Asda helped to put on a special Christmas Lunch with a chef so they could have a sit down Christmas Dinner rather than a buffet.
• Bangor Food Bank and Community, Bangor, Northern Ireland
As well as the group running a food bank service it also has other facilities, e.g. café, gaming room and a meeting room, where they put on a variety of sessions in the community, e.g. planning on having a Coding for girls session, a debt help/advice session. Asda provided some Christmas Cheer by donating an industrial size freezer full of goods to enable the centre to store prepared meals. In addition, Asda donated 150 slow cookers at a Christmas Lunch for their clients and a chef talked through the benefits of slow cooking, recipes, ingredients, how to prepare them for the slow cooker and provided a cooking demonstration.
• Shaftesbury Youth Club, Birkenhead.
The Youth Club is a daily afterschool club for disadvantaged children in the local area. This group of children aged 6-12 would not have the opportunity to meet with Santa and experience a Christmas party. Asda gave the group plenty of Christmas Cheer by providing a Winter Wonderland style party with over 100 children from the local area. The children experienced a fun winter wonderland, with lots of Christmas themed funfair stalls, a giant snow globe, get to meet Santa in his grotto, and enjoyed a disco/DJ room. Christmas party food was also provided.
• South Community Group and Connexions, Edmonton, London.
In 2021 this group took over a large, underutilized part of the Edmonton Green shopping centre, specifically set-up to deliver free and affordable community activities, services, workshops, events and enable us to provide a place for small community groups to run their activities. Asda will be surprising the group by transforming a dis-used room piled high with boxes into a gym and fitness studio.
A local Edmonton artist was also commissioned to create a bespoke wall mural with motivational quotes in an urban art style to help inspire the young people using the room and facilities. Group members are going to be treated to a festive party for the big reveal.