Community Champion Report: Stoke Park

Posted on June 28, 2024 by Teresa Davidson

Hi, my name is Teresa, and I am the Community Champion at Asda Stoke Park, Ipswich. I have the privileged position of working in a store full of great colleagues while also playing an active role within our local community.

Challenges During the Pandemic

I first took on the role of Community Champion just months before the Covid pandemic. This meant that unfortunately, I was unable to go out into the community to establish connections, provide support, and build relationships with schools, community groups, and other charitable organisations, which is the main part of my role.

As Community Champions, we were supported by our company to continue our work through the pandemic in other ways. Along with the rest of our community, we worked online and met with representatives of groups within the strictest circumstances. From providing PPE to our local residential care homes, arranging a collection of snacks, refreshments, and messages of support for our NHS workers, to supporting the local women’s refuge and food banks, I became part of the amazing community that kept going throughout.

Building Relationships

This was not what I expected. Far from feeling helpless, I felt like we were still making a difference in supporting our local community. Friendships, bonds, and strong relationships were built with many groups throughout this period, and I will never forget how the wonderful people within our local community kept going and supporting others. This became a good foundation for me to continue the work that I am doing now.

Role of a Community Champion

The role of the Asda Community Champion is quite varied. I could be in the office working on grant applications for The Asda Foundation (our independent charity) and answering emails one day, and out in the community volunteering, supporting a local community group, school, nursery, residential home, church group, or charity the next.

We also support charities, schools, and community groups with raffle prizes and goods donations, as well as providing space in-store for awareness events and fundraisers, and we do this on a regular basis.

Tickled Pink Campaign

Our Tickled Pink campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October is a time for me to encourage our colleagues and customers to dress up in pink, make a statement, and help raise funds and awareness for our charity partners, Breast Cancer Now, and Coppa Feel! It is also important for me to learn about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, how to check, and what to do so that I can understand those affected by breast cancer, talk about the importance of checking, and signpost to the correct services when needed.

Last year community groups got involved with this, taking part in a video for our Big Community Dance Challenge, and we raised £320 for our Tickled Pink weekend. This year I am very excited to be organising our Big Community Singalong, so watch this space.

BBC Children in Need Campaign

Let’s not forget our BBC Children in Need campaign in November. As community champions, we not only help to raise funds and awareness in-store, but we also help to fuel potential for children out in the local community. From understanding and supporting with resources provided by BBC’s Tiny Happy People, to learning about this year’s campaign which is looking at children’s mental health, there is always something new to learn and do to help support our campaign. And let’s not forget Pudsey Bear, who could make an appearance at any point in our community leading up to appeal night.

Community Impact and Gratitude

I am extremely proud to work with the amazing charities and organisations that work so hard to provide support and kindness to our community. I also have enormous respect and admiration for the volunteers of our local organisations and charities, who give up their free time to give back to the community and are some of the kindest, most beautiful people I have ever met.

The most rewarding part about being a community champion – and there are so many – is being a small part of the best of this wonderful community that we live and work in.

Who wrote this about Ipswich?

Teresa Davidson

Teresa is the Community Champion at Asda Stoke Park, Ipswich. She has the privileged position of working in a store full of great colleagues while also playing an active role within the local community.

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