Mary Sutherland, Community Champion

There’s one woman in Blantyre who especially deserves some recognition. Not just for her hard work during lockdown but for her incredible work as Community Champion for the Asda Blantyre store. She is the community face for Asda. She is of course, Mary Sutherland.

This week, we learned that in 2019 alone, Mary together with the Asda Foundation raised £39,263.40 for the Blantyre local community, supporting a number of groups within her area such as the Haven and the Community Links Charity. A significant part of that was down to Mary.

With thanks to an Asda Press release, we have access to a great interview with the busy woman. After speaking to Mary today in an earlier call, we know she’ll be suitably red reading through this.

“When I began working for Asda in February 2003, I mainly worked on the checkouts. After around 16 years of loving my job, I became the Community Champion for Blantyre in February 2019. 

Over the last year, I have supported over 60 charities and organisations, and I can honestly say I have enjoyed every minute. 

In 2019 I raised a total of £9191.25 for my local area. Blantyre is a wonderful place to live and work, with a great community spirit, which makes my job so much easier. The work we do is varied, and every day I have the chance to experience something new and exciting. One of the key charities I volunteer for is The Haven, which helps families with a loved one who has been given a life-limiting diagnosis. 

Before Covid-19, I also volunteered with The Community Links Charity, who provide hot meals to those who otherwise would go without. 

Within our community, there are many opportunities to get involved and one of the main aims of our work with charity groups, is helping children in the community who experience a chaotic home life as a result of alcohol or drugs. Being given the chance to help these children and to brighten their day, is one of my favourite parts about being a Community Champion.

My work with the Haven is very rewarding, as I get to help people at the very worst moments in their lives, and it is something we will always cherish. Being a representative of Asda within my community gives me great sense of pride and seeing the obvious difference the support makes to the community is absolutely amazing.

I am proud to say the work we do has a positive impact on each group we work with. During the Veg Heroes campaign, we got to take fruit and vegetables to Hyper Cyber, where many of the children had never tasted some of the produce. I chatted with a young boy who had never tasted a banana before, so I sat with him as he enjoyed his first one. We discussed the texture and the smell of it before he tasted it. Something as simple as a banana can bring so much joy to some people, and it’s amazing to see the difference these small things make. 

There are so many memories that make my work as a Community Champion worthwhile and encourage me to continue to help as much as I can. One of the most unforgettable days for me, was when we got a new speaker system installed for the East Kilbride Visually Impaired Group, which then allowed them to play bingo as a group. One of the members decided to say thank-you by singing all of us a song. It is moments like these that make working with Asda so special and motivate me to continue to be a Community Champion. 

Overall I love my job, and am looking forward to see what it has in store for me in the years to come.

Well done Mary. You’ve worked so hard and fully deserve a mention here. So many people appreciate the kindness of you and your colleagues.

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