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As part of community life we work very closely and in partnership with other organisations. This week we welcomed for the 4th time Street Teams. Street Teams head an organisation called Communities Against Sexual Exploitation (C.A.S.E.) especially child exploitation. The main aim of C.A.S.E. is to get as many eyes in to the community to spot the tell tale signs of abuse and grooming and how and who to report it to. On previous sessions we have welcomed rangers from local attractions, youth and community workers and council members to join our colleagues for the session. This week we welcomed members of the police, social services, Samaritans, Town centre management and local community groups to join our colleagues and attend this session. It's a subject that a lot of people shut their eyes to but the information session opens your eyes to a lot of things you walk past in every day life and pay no attention to but after the session you realise that there could be more to what you see than you originally thought. By involving a major supermarket is delighted with how we've responded and we now have eyes in our home shopping vans, on the shop floor, phone shop, pharmacy and optical departments as well as across the shop floor.
Caldmore community gardens is on the site of a demolished block of flats. Rather than building on it it was given to the community as a development project. Also on the site was a derelict caretakers house for the adjacent school. After 4 years the garden is almost completed and the caretakers cottage has been transformed in to a community cafe with training rooms and a kitchen. Money from the Asda foundation has been used to develop the gardens and also plant a sensory garden. It was an honour to receive this award today.
I recently posted about having a group in store who "signed" carols for the deaf and hard of hearing. We also had on a different occasion Walsall brass band playing carols. After talking to the 2 groups we managed to get them to come in store together and had the magical combination of a live brass band with a choir signing the words to the carols. It stunned a lot of our shoppers who just stopped to watch and listen
When the childrens ward at Walsall manor hospital contacted us about some of the children sadly being kept on the ward over Christmas, we didn't hesitate in taking our own Father Christmas over to see them Father Christmas had a sack full of presents and a letter for each child, the letter containing a sachet of reindeer feed to make sure they had the energy to get to every one during the night.
A massive thank you from Asda St Matthews and the Glebe centre for the cheque for £300. The Glebe centre is a charity St Matthews works with throughout the year and is a centre that helps people with drug and alcohol problems, the homeless and vulnerable adults. The Glebe centre also offers emergency overnight shelter when the weather drops below freezing. The money will be used to buy thermal fleeces that can be used as sleeping bags and shelter. We also had the Glebe centre as our trolley appeal and we had over 4 totally full trolleys of donations which ranged from smart price noodles to extra special Christmas puddings. The Glebe centre is grateful to everyone for the support the receive throughout the year but especially the support they receive over Christmas as this carries them through the leaner months.
On Wednesday the 2nd December we held our colleague Christmas celebration buffet. Elves were slaving away in the background to make sure that everything went just perfect on the day. We had a total of 5 sittings to accommodate all our colleagues each sitting having an identical buffet. It was a lot of fun with games, quizzes and competitions. Each siting was given a personal thank you from store manager Adam Page.
On Tuesday the 1st December, as part of our Christmas celebrations we welcomed to store Walsall sign for Worship. Sign for worship set up in the front of store and then played a backing track of Christmas carols while they "signed" rather than sang the words for the deaf and hard of hearing. It was a magical evening, full of Christmas cheer and a welcome difference for a traditional carol service. Sign for worship work closely with many churches throughout the region ensuring that people with hearing difficulties can enjoy the full experience of various church services. Sign for worship are volunteers of all ages and give their time for free, the true spirit of Christmas.
As part of Happy to Elf and #becauseitschristmas, Asda St Matthews in conjunction with The Alzheimers society and the Mayor of Walsall hosted a Christmas dementia cafe in the Mayors parlour. There were about 30 people attended and the day consisted of welcome tea's coffee's and mince pies, followed by an arm chair aerobics session, musical bingo and then Reiki and hand massage. Asda St Matthews is working hard with Walsall council and other dementia groups to promote dementia friendly communities and develop Walsall in to a dementia friendly town. The Mayor of Walsall, Cllr Angela Underhill took part in all the events and spent a lot of time talking to people living with dementia and their carers. It was a great day, fun to deliver and much appreciated by the people living with dementia and their carers.