As ASDA launches its national campaign to donate the time and talents of colleagues to local good causes in their communities, Lord Falconer of Thoroton QC, Minister of State for the Cabinet office, visited ASDA Wembley to check out their activity.
The launch comes as Business in the Community recognises ASDA for its community activity by shortlisting the company in three categories for the Awards of Excellence taking place on Wednesday 19th July.

'Get Involved' is a unique programme that will see colleagues from all 239 ASDA stores giving up time to support local good causes in their communities. In addition to much needed practical help every store will be giving a special gift of £300 to help the chosen cause. Stores are asking customers to nominate local charities and community groups - then colleagues will vote on the cause they want to help and will volunteer to get involved and make a difference during the latter two weeks of August.

In support of the activity, Lord Falconer of Thoroton QC said, "I'm delighted to see a retailer such as ASDA investing the time of its people to support good causes in their local community. Small community groups often need people to give their time as well as money in order to succeed. The ASDA 'Get Involved' campaign should make a real difference to charities and voluntary groups in the area. The Prime Minister has challenged employers to support their staff by giving them paid time to volunteer in their communities. I'd like to see more companies rising to this challenge."

Zaria Pinchbeck, ASDA's Community Involvement Manager says, "ASDA is at the heart of the local communities where we have stores. The time and talents of colleagues are often of more value to charities and voluntary groups than straight fund-raising and our colleagues are looking foward to making a positive practical difference."

Editors Notes
Lord Falconer nominated the Divert Trust as his local community project in need of a helping hand. The Divert Trust work with young people in the prevention of crime.

The 'Get Involved' activities are funded by the ASDA Foundation - ASDA's charitable trust. The ASDA Foundation is committed to helping colleagues support local good causes and put something back into the community.

In 1999, ASDA colleagues raised over £2 million for good causes and spent an estimated 20,000 hours in their local communities.

Wal-Mart has become a leading supporter of volunteerism through its support of Make a Difference Day in the US, a national day of volunteerism held every October.

The Business in the Community Awards for Excellence take place on Wednesday 19th July in the presence of HRH the Prince of Wales. ASDA has been shortlisted in three categories;

- Power in Partnership for the Big Read - a national reading event in conjunction with libraries

- Cause Related Marketing for Tickled Pink - ASDA's campaign to support Breast Cancer Care

- Diversity for striving towards attracting and utilising a truly diverse workforce