Tesco’s Champion …
Primarily, our work supports businesses in the town – but hand in hand with that work is our role to showcase the fantastic community groups that deliver all kinds of projects that help those living in and around our town. One such group is Tesco Cupar in The Community. We popped in to the store to meet with Elaine Brailsford, their Community Champion, to discuss how Tesco is engaging with Cupar and our wider community …
Tesco opened in Cupar (on South Road) on 18th November 1996. Elaine has worked for them for 23 years and became their Community Champion in 2008. She explains: “My role is to support events, groups and charities in the local area.”
The superstore retailer has had Community Champions for a number of years and have always had a Community Budget to help with donations. Their Cupar store serves a huge area across north east Fife – from Cupar up to Newburgh, across to the Tay Bridge, around the East Neuk and back to Cupar. Elaine says: “We are in Cupar but the work we cover is right across our catchment. Sometimes that’s tough because we get many requests for help almost on a weekly basis. We’d love to be able to help everyone, but that’s just not possible.” She loves her role, saying: “I get to meet lots of people from different areas in the local Community and I get to be involved many fascinating projects.”
Elaine at one of many cheque presentations – awarding funds to Cupars Youth Musical Theatre.
The Cupar store is one of the town’s biggest employers with 108 staff, but just as with their customers, they draw from a large area. Elaine explains that some of their team are Cupar based but their employees come into work from Glenrothes, Leven and many outlying villages. Tesco is a major draw and, as a result, brings many people to Cupar.
Elaine adds: “As a large company, it is good to be seen to be supporting the local Community.” But Elaine makes sure they are not just ‘seen’ but actively involved. One day they might be collecting produce for the local food bank, the next teaching young adults how to make the most of their fresh produce with cooking lessons. They might be helping the local RNLI Lifeguards or the Fife Coast & Countryside Trust to fund raise … another week they may well be working with local organisations, such as the Yvonne Gray Dance Studios, to deliver their Dance Beats project. No two days are the same – and Elaine recognises that every approach and project has a unique appeal.
Elaine with youngsters at the great local charity, The Sunshine Kitchen. “Lots of chopping, stirring, blending and tasting!“
As we chat in the store’s cafe, it is obvious Elaine is a very approachable person. She is well known in the town and has worked with multiple charities, causes and agencies to help folk in our community. “I’m always willing to listen” she says, as she explains just some of the many projects in which she has been involved over the years … “Gliding with air cadets, building a Wizard of Oz garden with a youth group, Chieftain at the local Highland Games – even a guest at Royal Garden Party!”
As with all who feature in our wee profiles, we asked Elaine what she’d recommend to anyone visiting Cupar for the first time … or the the first time in a long time: “Visit the Heritage Centre, then take a walk around the town and enjoy the history – see what has changed in our small town.”
You can email Elaine via firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 07590 976005.
If you’d like to contact The Sunshine Kitchen project – you can find more via this link.
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