Community is the cornerstone of any good business and here at Asda, we’re proud to have been chosen as 'Community Retailer of the Year' 2013, 2014 and 2015 by the Retail Industry Awards.
Building on this success in 2016, we will intensify the support we provide in the areas where our customers and colleagues live, work and grow up.
Set up in 2011, Asda Community aims to make a real difference in communities by focusing on four key areas:
- Working Life: better prospects for young people
- Local Life: families are better connected to their communities
- Healthier Life: improved health and well-being for everyone
- Greener Life: families living in cleaner, safer environments
Community Champion – keeping colleagues in the loop
Asda has a proud history of supporting the local communities we serve. Our stores have a ‘Community Champion’ whose role is to work with charities and community groups in their local area, so that we, as a business, may provide effective support.
Our Champions get to work in a number of ways:
In store fundraising
We warmly welcome community groups into our stores to raise funds for great local causes. Recently, Maxine Green, our Community Champion in Morley, helped twelve-year-old Cody Hartley raise money in order to put life-saving defibrillators in local schools and public places.
In just three months, Cody raised more than £2,000 in a series of fundraising events, including bag packing at Asda Morley. Maxine was so impressed with Cody’s efforts that she donated a defibrillator to the campaign and presented it to Cody in store. “I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am, what a lovely thing to do,” said Cody.
Sometimes our colleagues are so moved by a good cause that they become inspired to raise funds themselves. This is exactly what happened at our Gorseinon store recently, when colleagues heard of a local family’s efforts to raise £60,000 for bionic hands for nine year old Alan, who tragically lost his hands aged just three.
Community Champion, Peter Jones, rallied colleagues from stores across Scotland to get involved and kicked things off with a fun-filled Superhero Day, during which store colleagues, along with Alan and his mum, dressed as their favourite characters.
When colleagues get involved in fundraising events for local causes, they can also apply for additional funding from the Asda Foundation, which means that we are able to provide even more support to the community.
Healthy eating sessions in schools
In partnership with education and nutrition experts, we have produced a ‘Schools Toolkit’ so that Community Champions can provide engaging, interactive activities for children. The activities include grow your own herbs, fruit and vegetable tasting and perfect portion sizes. In Boston, for example, our Community Champion, Stephen Bromby, visited Carlton Road Academy to talk about what makes a healthy, balanced diet and to help the class cook some tasty snacks.
”As part of our ‘Healthy Eating’ topic, the children used their senses to feel, look at, smell and taste the different fruits,” said Fiona Hobart, a teacher at Carlton Road. “The children enjoyed trying new food and could say which fruits they liked or disliked.”
Volunteering in the community
We believe it’s crucial to give not just money but also time to local causes and charities.
Last year, our Community Champions spent a whopping 150,517 hours volunteering locally.
But it’s not just our Champions that get involved. We make sure that all of our colleagues, whether they work in a store, depot or office, have the opportunity to volunteer.
Community Champion Angela Murfitt, chatted to us about the colleagues making a difference at her Hyson Green store. “General Store Manager Lyndsey was out and about in the community, visiting a charity-run care home. This care home is run by the church and is not-for-profit, making it a fantastic home to support. Often residents in the home do not get any visitors, so when our community colleagues visit, they often take them out for a walk to the nearby park or even to the local coffee shop.”
Rooms for the community at our stores
Since 2012, we have opened our doors to charities and community groups to use the space in our stores, completely free of charge. In 2015, we invested £30,000 to build a designated Community Room in our Colne store. This flexible room can be booked for use as a standard meeting room, for presentations to large groups, and the furniture can also be moved to accommodate classes or activities that require a big open space.
Colne Camera Club has made fantastic use of this space. The club had been running for over 50 years but was in danger of closing as they couldn’t afford the rent on their previous premises. Now, through a regular free booking in the Colne Community Room, the group has been saved and is stronger than ever.
The Asda Foundation is a charitable corporate Foundation making independent grants throughout the UK.
Our aim is to transform communities and improve the lives of people in the UK, now and in the future.
We fund charitable projects and activities that have the ideas and abilities to achieve change for the better, like Asda Community.
Asda Tickled Pink
Our Tickled Pink campaign has been raising money for Breast Cancer Campaign and Breast Cancer Care for 18 years and, in 2014, reached the amazing milestone of having raised £40 million for the charities.
One key element to the success of Tickled Pink is the commitment our colleagues have shown when fundraising for the cause. Their passion has been evident in both the national activities organised centrally at our head office and the initiatives they come up with and organise themselves locally.