A supermarket community champion from Walkden has been busy helping residents of Salford with different donations and charity events.

Elaine Fox has been the community champion at Tesco for almost 10 years and says it has been “overwhelming” to see how many people she has helped so far.

Elaine says charity appeals and donations are important, especially at Christmas.

“I think it’s just concentration of the shops shutting, people are lonely, obviously this year can’t travel so they’re not going to get that support,” she said.

From organising donations to signposting people where to go for help, Elaine does a lot for her community.

Image credit: Elaine Fox

Mrs Fox said: “My job role is to support staff and community with any donations, any help that they need. I have a budget that I work from to support groups.

“I work with the FareShare and Trussell Trust, we have a food bank in store that people drop into so I keep an eye on that.”

Notice board at work Image credit: Elaine Fox

At Tesco, the community food share uses items near the end of their shelf life that groups in the area can use to cook meals with. Fox explained that soup kitchens for example will collect the food at the end of the day.

She also explained: “Well obviously this year we’ve not managed to get out to do too much but if somebody is having a Christmas fair or any fundraising I’m allowed to go out to help as a volunteer.”

Many charity events have been cancelled this year due to on-going Covid restrictions.

Fox said there have been less one-to-one meetings as she described: “There’s not as many actual things going on at the moment.

“I’ve been working with Dancing with Dementia for quite a few years now and that’s the only one at the minute that has majorly been active.”

Mrs Fox is a trustee for the group and has recently worked on their secret Santa. Around 450 presents have been wrapped ready to be sent off to care homes.

She described: “We’re doing a big goodie bag, like a festive hamper with food in, to share in the home and then an individual present for each one.”

Elderly residents in care homes have not seen family members for a long time which explains why secret Santa’s like this are important.

Image: Example of children’s holiday food bags. Permission to use by Elaine Fox

Elaine originally worked on the tills at her supermarket but applied for the role of community champion when the position opened.

Permission to use by Elaine Fox

“I’ve been a giver and when this job opened up, because I used to be on checkout, I just thought ‘I fancy having a go at that’ so I did and I’ve just not looked back.

“Its just enabled me to do what I like doing but with the backing of what I can donate.”

The Tesco employee often donates items like clothes, toys and cutlery to Salford Women’s aid.

Her favourite thing about being a community champion is “seeing a difference” and helping others.

At her store, Tesco also supports Cancer Research, Dancing with Dementia and Diabetes UK.

For the future, Elaine Fox will continue to work with Dancing with Dementia as they aim to set up monthly film shows for people to attend.

She commented: “We’ve got quite a few groups waiting to get to do stuff but nobody knows when and how we can get stuff done.”




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