Customers at Whiteley Tesco give generously to those in need at Christmas

KIND-HEARTED shoppers have dug deep to help those in need as part of a supermarket’s community drive.

Monday, 21st December 2020, 1:55 pm
Caroline Mannell, from Tesco in Whiteley

Colleagues at the Whiteley Way Tesco Superstore at Whiteley Shopping Centre have been giving the people in need something to lift their spirits this Christmas.

The store, which is currently open 24 hours a day to help people cope with the Christmas rush, linked with various local charities to provide help such as hampers for homeless shelters, families enduring hardship, the RSPCA, Whiteley Primary School and nearby churches.

Colleagues also set up a wish tree, with customers selecting a gift suggestion off the tree, buying it and putting it in box under tree for people less fortunate this Christmas.

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Caroline Mannell, community champion at the store, said: ‘The wish tree has been particularly successful this year. It’s been amazing how kind and thoughtful the people of Whiteley have been.

‘We also provided hats, scarves, socks toiletries, and selection packs for the 20 residents at the Two Saints homeless shelter, and we gave 100 oranges to Whiteley Church for their Christingle, which they were doing on Zoom because of COVID restrictions.

‘We’re proud to be helping the community during such challenging times. The pandemic has hit so many people really hard and we’re very keen to help the vulnerable in our society as best we can.

‘We’ve always been community-minded here at the store and we will of course be continuing our essential community work during the run-up to Christmas and after.’

The Whiteley Way Tesco Superstore recently underwent extensive work for its first major refurbishment in more than 20 years, with it having been one of the community’s first outlets.

Areas of the store remained open throughout October and November while new fridges, shelving, toilets, office space and a new space for the F&F clothing range were installed.

Tesco is also planning to help the Portchester community through its new Tesco Express store, which opened in Portchester Precinct’s West Street on Monday.

The store, which has created 23 jobs, will be offering funding for good causes through its Bags of Help scheme, as well as setting up a food bank donation point.

Tesco Whiteley is open 24 hours until Wednesday, until 7pm on Christmas Eve, closed Christmas Day and open 9am until 6pm on Boxing Day.