Downpatrick ASDA Community Champion Looks Back

Asda Downpatrick Community Champion reflects on ten years in the community

Asda Downpatrick Community Champion reflects on ten years in the community

The Asda Community Champion programme celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and Downpatrick’s Community Champion, Linda Owens, has spoken with pride for the position she has held since May 2019.

Asda Downpatrick Community Champion Linda said: “I really admire the Community Champion programme, and the difference it has made to our local community is immense. We deal directly with grass root groups who have nothing and it’s so fantastic that we can help them get going.”

Linda had great respect for the role prior to taking on the responsibility. She said: “I joined Asda back in 2010 and progressed from Checkout Operator to Front End Section Leader. Finally, the timing was right and in May 2019 I started in my coveted Community Champion role.’’

Linda Owens, the Downpatrick ASDA Community Champion reflects on her 10 years working with the community

Linda remains passionate about her position, and she works tirelessly with various organisations throughout Downpatrick to provide help and opportunities for those who need it. Throughout the pandemic she was committed to the role and continued to provide first class service to her groups during unprecedented times.

She said: “The very first group I met was the Fountain Foodbank. I met with the organiser, Shirley Lennon and helped the volunteers carry out vital work for their clients. Little did we know that less than a year later, both Shirley and I would be like rabbits stuck in the headlights due to Covid-19.

“With all our volunteers shielding, Shirley and I worked together to keep the cupboards fully stocked and to keep this vital service going. I was very humbled and proud to then learn that Shirley had nominated me for a Community Hero award, and I was delighted to receive an appreciation certificate.’’

Not only has Linda made a real impact within her community, but she has also developed relationships with a variety of people from throughout the community. She clearly has great admiration for this part of the role, a key part at that.

Linda added: “In my short time I have built so many friendships! Downpatrick Community Collective are now a strong partnership that we work regularly with – it’s always great to share a cup of coffee and the odd joke with those I support.’’

Shirley Lennon, left, pictured in ASDA in March 2020 just as Covid-19 was taking off.

Linda, passionate about the role she plays and eager to keep working hard to represent Asda Downpatrick as their Community Champion, said: “My colleagues and managers love what I do, and I keep them all well informed with our own Asda Downpatrick Facebook site. The local groups we are involved with are constantly singing our praises on social media, and I have yet to receive a negative comment.”

“I hope that the Community Champion programme continues to thrive and emphasises to our community that we really are all in this together.”