What is the programme?
The grocery retailer Asda launched its community engagement programme Community Life in April 2012. The programme invests £8m a year to support local causes, including community groups, schools, social enterprises and charities that are in the immediate vicinity of the retailer’s stores.
Who does it support?
The Community Life programme focuses on four main areas: improving young people’s job prospects; helping families to get more involved in their communities; encouraging children to become healthier; and helping families to live in cleaner, safer environments.
Asda has also introduced the Asda Mile to pinpoint where it should focus its effort. Under this banner, stores and depots are encouraged to work with the communities that immediately surround them and find ways to make a real impact. All of Asda’s 180,000 staff can volunteer for two days a year to work on community initiatives. Each store has a Community Life Champion, a staff member who dedicates one day a week to working with community groups and local organisations, and who arranges in-store events to inspire colleagues and customers to support local community work.
What has it achieved?
Between 2012 and 2013, the amount raised for local charities increased from £8.8m to £11. 9m; the amount raised for national charities rose from £6m to £7m. The number of hours spent by staff volunteering rose from 115,691 to 153,109 during this period.
What did the judges say?
Lynda McCullagh, corporate partnerships manager at WaterAid, said: "The programme had a clear focus and provided opportunities for employees to engage with the community."