Tesco Cookstown: Championing generosity in the community

Hundreds of kids have attended farm to fork educational events
Hundreds of kids have attended farm to fork educational events

In the past year, one organisation in Cookstown has raised thousands for charity, gathered food for those in need, and provided a helping hand at various community events.

And while your first thought might be that it’s a charity, you would be wrong.

Charlie has volunteered at many local events

Charlie has volunteered at many local events

Doing all this and more for the people of Cookstown - Tesco’s Community Champion Charlie Bell and staff at the store have been busy bees.

From waiting tables at a Hub Tea Dance, to providing a space for young farmers to show off their skills in a building competition, Tesco has been working hard to do its bit for charitable causes locally.

But, while the supermarket giant has kept Charlie busy offering her time, energy and ideas locally, she said they ware always looking at new ways to give back.

That’s where you come in, as Charlie told the Mail that no matter what the request, Tesco will do its best to help.

29 staff members ran in the The Jugle's Rampage to raise funds

29 staff members ran in the The Jugle's Rampage to raise funds

In the last year they have donated staff for two water stops at the Cookstown half marathon along with 600 bananas and bottles of water to feed and water all the runners. They have gathered food instore for local foodbanks and given away leftover food to groups such as Newhaven, 040 and Gort kids.

Staff at the store raised almost £3,500 for defibrillators which have since been placed at three local schools.

Thousands has been gathered and donated to the store’s charities of the year - Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation, and 29 staff recently put their money where their mouth is when they took on The Jungle’s Rampage, and all just to give back.

The store has hosted bag packs and collections, which between them have raised around £16,000 for charities and community groups.

The Diabetes UK roadshow even stopped off at the store to do tests and raise awareness

The Diabetes UK roadshow even stopped off at the store to do tests and raise awareness

Information stands, have also featured throughout the year for groups such as Slimming World, Dogs in the Community, the Public Health nursing team and the Child Safety Team, as well as the Diabetes Roadshow and Childminding Association NICMA.

Farm to Fork events have educated 600 children on the journey their food makes to the plate and the supermarket car park also played host to The Young Farmers’ Build It competition in summer. Speaking to the Mail about a very busy year for the store, Charlie Bell said: “In April we ended our financial year and I was just reflecting back on everything I have done in my first year as the community champion. We have given so much back, but people won’t know about it.”

But likewise, she said Tesco is always looking for more ways to reach out and help, and that if anyone needs a hand, to get in touch.

“I can volunteer out my time,” Charlie went on.

Thousands have been raised instore for a number of groups and charities

Thousands have been raised instore for a number of groups and charities

“If anyone is having a fundraiser, they can ring me and I can come and sell raffle tickets - I can come and do the door - or whatever they need me to.

“We have that option as well as supporting with raffle prizes and different things.”

The team have even helped to plant a garden

The team have even helped to plant a garden