Making a positive contribution to the local communities we serve
7 December 2018
A strong retail sector brings investment to towns across the UK and supports healthy local economies.
So against a backdrop of new technology, new retail players and high street struggles, it feels like a good time to think about how our own shops and colleagues serve shoppers and communities.
That’s why last week I visited South London to meet charities and policy makers to discuss how we can best work with them to make a positive contribution in their area. Cllr Kieron Williams from Southwark Council shared insight into some of the local area’s specific challenges, including food poverty, while FareShare and The Trussell Trust put forward their views on what works well about our existing partnerships and what we can learn from them.
But what was most powerful was hearing first-hand from local voices in the audience, and I’m incredibly grateful to the community groups who suggested new ways we could help tackle the issues that matter to them.
Our focus last week was on South London, but the themes we discussed are ones that apply to every community we serve. It’s important therefore we take our responsibility to our communities seriously. Earlier this year we published our Value in Your Town report which helps us see the contribution we are having, so we can challenge ourselves to do better. Coming together with experts from local government and the third sector is key to this and the first step towards building truly effective partnerships.
For me, the Tesco Food Collection is a great example of an effective partnership. Last weekend I volunteered at the Food Collection with the team in our Ware store. I saw first-hand the generosity of our customers and colleagues in donating food that can be given to people in need this winter. Together we’ve collected 49 million meals since 2012 and over 3 million in last year’s collection. By harnessing our reach and helping customers to take part in the Food Collection each year, our charity partners get the support they need to make a big difference in local communities.
Thank you to everyone who volunteered or donated over the last few days.