Asda Foundation’s Christmas Cracker for Coleraine’s ‘Hidden Heroes’

Cheque by the ASDA Foundation for Ashes to Gold and pictured are Roy Warke Coleraine General Store Manager, Mayor Ald Maura Hickey of Causeway Coast and Glens Council, Alastair Christie from 2nd Chance, Coleraine ASDA Community Champion Sheila Palmer, Cllr Stephanie Quigley and Mandy Forgrave at the ASDA community Christmas party held at New Row Presbyterian Church Hall. ASDA New Row 04
Cheque by the ASDA Foundation for Ashes to Gold and pictured are Roy Warke Coleraine General Store Manager, Mayor Ald Maura Hickey of Causeway Coast and Glens Council, Alastair Christie from 2nd Chance, Coleraine ASDA Community Champion Sheila Palmer, Cllr Stephanie Quigley and Mandy Forgrave at the ASDA community Christmas party held at New Row Presbyterian Church Hall. ASDA New Row 04

As part of its mission to ‘Make Christmas Better’, Asda Coleraine has recognised the important work of ‘Ashes to Gold’ and its 2nd Chance Community project by adding an extra sparkle to its recent Christmas party, led by Asda Coleraine Community Champion Sheila Palmer.

This Christmas, the Asda Foundation is investing thousands of pounds to reward the year-round work of ‘hidden heroes’ in the community who help improve the lives of others in their local area.

Through a £1000 donation from Asda, Shelia helped 2nd Chance Community host a Christmas party and buffet lunch in New Road Church Hall, Society Street for a selection of guests including local community groups and Mayor Ald Maura Hickey of Causeway Coast and Glen’s Council. School Choir of the Year finalists, Macosquin PS sang a selection of Christmas Carols, and Santa Claus paid a visit to entertain the guests.

2nd Chance is a community-based workshop which was set up to help individuals in the Causeway Coast area, through a drop in centre, men’s clubs and one to one mentoring. The organisation receives donations of unwanted household items, which its volunteers upcycle to sell through its retail outlet in Coleraine – helping develop work-place skills.

Community Champion for Asda Coleraine, Shelia Palmer said “It’s a privilege to be able to bring some Christmas joy to our community at this special time of the year. 2nd Chance is a fantastic organisation that does very worthwhile work throughout the year. The Christmas Party was a great way to bring everyone together to celebrate - a big well done to all the children from Macosquin Primary School Choir who warmed our hearts with their seasonal singing! ”

Alastair Christy, Ashes to Gold Project Manager, added “One of our main projects is 2nd Chance in Coleraine. We have a unique approach that offers individuals who volunteer in the centre the opportunity to increase their confidence, motivation and self-belief while learning new employability skills – to help give them a second chance.

“We were delighted to receive the extra support from the Asda Foundation and Shelia for the Christmas Party. The party enabled us to bring together various members of the community to share some Christmas cheer. We were also joined by a range of organisations including, The Simon Community, Fold Association and Sure Start – a really great time was had by everyone!”

Set up in 1988, the Asda Foundation aims to have a positive impact on local communities, by providing support to a range of local good causes, chosen by Asda Community Champions across the UK.