Hot Community: Tesco Irvine's Goodwill with Elaine Clark - “We Want to Give Back” by Marcus Binnie
“[On the subject of] The community and giving back – for myself, my managers and my colleagues – it’s a big thing for Tesco [in Irvine]. We want to give back what we can and when we can to the deprived areas”, said Elaine Clark, one of the workers at Tesco that help lead the kind-hearted community work that Tesco, Irvine do around the area.
“To the people who have been shopping in here for years – our loyal customers – it’s a way to give back”, she said. “We’re inviting our whole neighbourhood to engage with our community.”
The promotion and welfare of others is very important to Tesco, Elaine and the others that work for Tesco; Tesco Irvine’s “four hundred colleagues” and their community work is all about “engagement” and “the overall collective”. The campaigns they work on are already doing a splendid job, creating a positive impact and a widespread community and society for good around the local area and without.
“I think in my own opinion, we live in Irvine just the same as everybody else. We open our doors every single day, and we ask our customers to come visit us”, said store manager, Russell. “We’re inviting our whole neighbourhood in, to work with us 24//7. We have four hundred colleagues in here, all living in and around this area, so it’s a community within itself. We deal with every customer on a daily basis, because it’s a regularly paying customer – we create engagement within our staff, whether it’s with Elaine, or with Jane [a 2nd worker] or with Robyn [a 3rd worker]. Then there’s me, also. That’s four roles”, he said.
I asked on the relationship and what the network is like working with charitable groups, these include The Ayrshire Hospice and The Prince’s Trust, and the wider spectrum of their community.
“When you think about the context of it, it’s all these small parts that help make the bigger picture. It’s a collective”, said Russell. “Every colleague [is a part of these campaigns]. Every part that they play involves interacting with another customer. Whether it’s bags for help, whether we have food collection, whether we have food banks, whether it’s giving out food within our community, whether we have customer experience days, whether we have Farm to Fork, whether we have interaction with schools [etcetera].
Their impact on Ayrshire has been evidenced over “the last three years”. Tesco Irvine’s mission in vision is “to make the community of Tesco important to a bigger audience”.
“We’re not targeting any certain individuals or a certain part of the population, we endorse a really broad spectrum of service to every single customer.” said Russell. “Everything has come into fruition in the last 3 years under our CEO, Dave Lewis. It’s a key part of the business. The community [related work] is of equal importance as any other part of the business.”
“Just seeing to people who need help and giving a wee bit back when ever I can – it’s amazing”, complemented Elaine. I’ve been in this job for 20 years. I’ve really enjoyed it.”
“One of the biggest things was The Homeless World Cup. We Supplied all the food and represented Tesco. We supplied food to people from all different countries – we supplied breakfast, lunch and dinner. Twenty six thousand colleagues were there – just to provide. There were kids, there were adults; there were people of all ages, all different backgrounds and all different nationalities. Everybody from Tesco pulled together, bringing in 2nd hand stuff. Some kids there had nothing. It was amazing and a privilege [to have been involved]”, she said.
Tesco, Irvine have great respect for all registered charity organisations and encourage anyone looking for a partnership to apply. A natural conversation that they have with everybody is sure to help anyone or any group with unique circumstances. And remember – you can rest assured that this Christmas Tesco, Irvine will have all their food banks well stocked, so definitely pop in for a visit!