SUPERMARKETS have played a key part in our lives during Lockdown, providing a valuable and essential service to us all.
Seven months ago, one of them, Morrisons in Hampden Park, decided to go one step further and become true Community Champions.
They decided to appoint two full time Community Champions, Kim Hatcher-Davies and Georgie Hoodgeworf with the aim to make a real difference to the borough.
And that is exactly what they have done.
Kim explains: “Before Lockdown, I was working just eight hours in the role, but management then wanted both to work full time.
“As soon as we went into Lockdown, it became apparent that there was a real need in the community, which is where we step in.
“We could see the problem people were facing in their own homes as we were making our home deliveries.
“We decided as a store that we needed to help and make a real difference.”
Kim and Georgia set up meetings with key stakeholders, including the Mayor, councillors, schools and the emergency services.
They were keen to listen and find out where the real need was.
Kim said: “We were in the middle of Covid and the community needed help. We wanted to work out what that need looked like.
“It wasn’t about money; we don’t just give people financial support. It’s about practical help that we can give.”
Morrisons has supported several groups and charities in the past few months.
These include Rainbow Wishes, Compass Community Arts, Inglewood Care Home, Defiant Sports, Eastbourne YMCA and Mortain Place care home.
Kim said: “Rainbow Wishes is doing some incredible work in the3 community and we have helped them with the 700 stationary packs they have provided to schools in this current Lockdown.
“Every month, Compass Community Arts put on displays in the store of their work. For February, the theme is Love, for obvious reasons.
“We have worked with the Memory Lane charity to help dig their allotment, and we have provided work experience for two adults from the YMCA.
“It’s all about being inclusive. There is a huge list of the groups we have helped in some way.
“Mortain Place care home came to us before Christmas when they were creating a ‘shop’ inside the home, and we were able to provide items for them. Now, on a regular basis, we take flowers down there, which we hope will bring joy to the residents.
“Another important aspect of what we do is that we are able to bring different charities together, so they now work with each other.
“A good example of this has been our work with the Eastbourne Foodbank and The Matthew 25 Mission in Seaside.”
Morrisons are keen to work with local community groups. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to make contact.