Seven years ago, Morrisons introduced the part-time role of ‘Community Champion’, and Customer Service’s own Rochelle Gardner was delighted to take on this role and work closely with the local community for one day a week.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, Morrisons decided to turn the role of Community Champion into a full-time job, to assist the community as much as possible.
Rochelle told Your Local BURY: “We were given work mobile phones, to ensure we were contactable for anyone who needed us, and I was soon inundated with requests to help with those who couldn’t leave their homes to do their own shopping, to support all the local schools, and the NHS. I as Community Champion have been kept very busy over this last year. There were just not enough hours in the day to help everyone at one stage.”
Before the pandemic hit, the role of Community Champion consisted of activities such as donating to schools for their summer fairs and Christmas parties, organising bag-packers to collect in store for charities such as Bury Hospice, Marie Curie, and the local Girl Guides and the Scout Association, booking for carol singers to perform every Christmas at the Whitefield Morrisons, as well as supporting religious events, such as welcoming the children from the local Jewish schools to sing Chanukah songs at the annually held Chanukah event.
Now, Rochelle and other Community Champions work closely with food banks to support vulnerable customers. ‘Grab bags’ are made up in store so customers, instead of having to think about what to donate to the local food banks, can instead just pick up a grab bag and pay for these on the way out, as an easy way to get more food donations.
This last year has even seen Rochelle help an elderly father, who’s worried daughter contacted Whitefield Morrisons from the other side the world in Australia. Rochelle has taken a shopping list from his daughter each week, and ensures her father, alongside other elderly and vulnerable customers get their weekly shop.
Rochelle continued to tell Your Local BURY: “I am very much looking forward to normality again, when I will be able to get out and about more, to give and contribute even more locally. It is an extremely rewarding role, and often heart wrenching when supporting charities and raising money for them, but seeing the outcome makes it more worthwhile.”
Morrisons also has a community newsletter, in which the retail company proudly states: “Morrisons have played a huge part in supporting food banks all over the country. Between all the stores, we have donated £15 million pounds worth of food to local food banks and pantries.”
The next time you visit Whitefield Morrisons, be sure to donate a grab bag, and thank any Community Champions you see for their hard work!