Champion swimmer Ellie in store for a bakery masterclass

Ellie Simmonds at Sainsbury's, Biggleswade, with  Angie Roma, Jan Stone, Donella Middlehurst, Chris Wallace, Roy Miskelly, Emily Wade and Julie Bunting
Ellie Simmonds at Sainsbury's, Biggleswade, with Angie Roma, Jan Stone, Donella Middlehurst, Chris Wallace, Roy Miskelly, Emily Wade and Julie Bunting

A visit by a top sports woman took supermarket staff by surprise this week.

Staff at Sainsbury’s Fairfield Park won a competition to meet Paralympic Champion Ellie Simmonds who took part in a bakery master class and Q&A session at the store on Tuesday, September 29.

The colleagues enjoyed a day at work with a difference when the sports woman and Sainsbury’s Active Kids ambassador paid the surprise visit.

The team had won a competition to come up with a new game that would help keep children active and the winning entry was a fun, human version of Hungry Hippos involving giant skateboards and a ball pit.

During the visit, Ellie took part in a bakery masterclass mixing up a tasty bloomer and plaited bread. She then spent the rest of the morning with colleagues in the canteen answering questions, signing autographs and posing for pictures.

Donella Middlehurst, a Tu Clothing assistant, who entered the competition on behalf of her store, said: “I came up with the idea and decided to test it on my Scout troop at one of our meetings. It was such a success so I entered it for the competition. I couldn’t believe it when we’d won. We’ve had a fantastic day with Ellie. She’s such an inspirational young woman and it was an honour to have her in the store.”

Ellie said: “After swimming, baking is my second passion so I was really excited about visiting Fairfield Park to do some baking and meet the colleagues. I’ve learned some new tips which I can take back home with me.”

Over the next couple of months, organisations across the UK will be receiving their new Active Kids sports and cooking equipment and experiences.

Sainsbury’s Active Kids was launched in 2005, in response to growing concerns around children’s activity and obesity levels, and has donated more than £150 million worth of equipment and experiences. A total of 43,000 organisations are now part of Active Kids

Nurseries, schools, scouts and girlguide groups, and Clubmark accredited sports clubs (or acceptable equivalent), can exchange Active Kids Vouchers for a variety of sports and activity equipment and experiences.