Want to meet our Super Fan?

Just before Christmas, I had a rather interesting request come through from the Call Centre. One of our customers, Olivia, wanted to know if we could help deliver an extra special Christmas present for her partner, David.

Olivia explained that David is passionate about customer experience, and will pore over YouTube videos to find out more about our operation, then quiz our drivers when the shopping arrives.

She wanted to give him the chance to spend a day in the life of an Ocado driver, and wondered if we could help make this idea a reality. In return, she offered to make a donation to our Charity of the Year, Macmillan Cancer Support.

Well, it’s not something we’ve done before, but I got chatting to a few people in our Service Delivery team and at the Hatfield Customer Fulfillment Centre (aka ‘CFC1’ – our first warehouse), and on Monday, we made it happen…

We provided David with an Ocado uniform and, in the morning, gave him a tour of the CFC, explaining how it all works and how customer experience is at the heart of everything we do. After lunch David went out in the Lemon van with Stephen, one of our experienced trainers, and helped deliver shopping to five customers.

Here’s a snippet of what he had to say afterwards:

I’ll be thinking of everyone each time I answer the door to a CSTM – and you’ll be pleased to know I won’t keep them at the doorstep with any more technical questions or requests for frozen tote temperatures!

A huge thank you to Stephen. He has a great sense that good training and attention to detail will benefit not only himself but also his team, as the CSTMs are the ambassadors
for the company.

I also really appreciated how friendly everyone was: Chris at the depot and all the other managers.

Two nice touches stand out:

  • The uniform and finding it at the hotel on Sunday evening – great idea!
  • And getting a lift home in an Ocado van – another big thank you to Steve.

Image of Naomi and David

Pleased to be of service!

Naomi, PR and Social Media Executive

We had a ball

ball1Last Thursday we held our second annual charity ball in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support and we’re pleased to report it was a huge success.

Held in the beautiful Sopwell House in St Albans, a fantastic time was had by all and more importantly we raised a lot of money for a great cause, £17,800 to be exact.

The Ocado gang certainly scrub-up well and we had a wonderfully turned-out turnout, all ready for a fun-filled opera-themed evening.

The entertainment included singing waiters, a live five-piece band, very impressive live singing from Ocado’s Cece and a ‘Golden Ticket’ lucky draw with lots of posh prizes. Silhouette artists making pictures at people’s tables was a big success and also raised extra money.

ball2Our sponsors and partners all contributed very generously to the evening and deserve a big thank you. They include: Bertrams, Britvic, Carrs Foods, Coca Cola, Cypressa, Direct Table, Dovecote, Go 2 Grocery, Honeytop, Johnson & Johnson, Method, P&G, PLB, Poupart, Premier Decorations, Produce World, Reckitt Benckiser, Sun Branding Solutions, The Brand Distillery, Weleda, Westland, Nivea, S&B Enterprise, August Media, 2 Sisters, Gallio wines, Shearer candles, Lindt, Sopwell House, T-Mobile, Waitrose, The Creative Place, 8e Creative, Duchy, Daylesford, Michelin tyres, Moet, PieMinister, Rocket Garden, Judy Britton, Frontline, Simple, buyagift.com and Badger Beers.

The Macmillan Cancer Support is such an important and worthwhile cause I would like to offer a huge thank you and well done for getting involved and embracing our fundraising, you have really made a difference.

We are looking forward to next year’s ball already.

Sam Vince
Ocado Own Brand Product Manager

My first marathon

Keep on running

120402_blogFor this week’s blog, I’ve been testing out different types of sports nutrition to see how they help with my performance before, and recovery after, training. (If you missed last week’s blog, I’m running my first marathon on Sunday to raise funds for Macmillan, and am testing out different products along the way.)

I did my last 21-mile run a few Sundays ago, and in my rush to get out early didn’t have time for breakfast. Instead, I tried the Gatorade G Series Pro Prime 01 drink, mixed berry flavour. This is part of a series of drinks they’ve created for before, during and after a workout.

I’m not really a fan of sweet drinks, but this got me moving. Great if you’re in a hurry, but ideally I’d have breakfast too (you could try the Sci-MX Ultimate Breakfast Shake as an alternative).

During the run I drank the Perform 02 drink in the orange flavour, but I only made it half strength so I wouldn’t have to carry water too. It tasted good and certainly kept me fuelled.

Immediately after the run I drank the Recover 03, mixed berry flavour. It’s important to refuel quickly as it helps your body repair itself, and this was very easy to digest after so much exercise. Again, I did find it quite sweet, and I only needed 200ml rather than the full 500ml.

On top of these drinks, I’ve been eating half a Sci-MX protein bar 25 minutes after each run. These are actually really tasty and enjoyable, which is a pleasant surprise as I’d worried they’d be chalky. Recommended!

Finally, I’ve been taking Vitabiotics supplements for joints. Difficult to say whether it’s because of them, but so far no injuries or joint pains…

In conclusion, I’ve found that the right sports nutrition can certainly give you a boost and help your body to stay in peak condition. And it can even taste good whilst doing so. Bonus.

Anne Marie
Head of Business Support Systems

Visit my fundraising page.

gatorade sci-mx jointace


Keep on running

120402_blogJoining a running club seemed like a great way to keep fit and meet new people when I first moved to Knebworth in Hertfordshire. Who knew that just 12 months later, I’d be training hard to run my first London marathon for Macmillan? That means squeezing in seven-mile runs around my busy IT job at Ocado!

Now I’m no spring chicken and training for a marathon is tough to say the least. But luckily for me my work colleagues have been super-supportive and after discovering I was running the marathon they decided to give me some sporty products to test. All I have to do is share my opinions with you and this week they’re all about foot care.

First up, are plasters and having learnt the hard way with some pretty impressive blisters I never leave the house without putting them on. For me, Compeed are the best by far because I can run 20 miles in them and they don’t move or scrunch up like some others do. If you’re looking for something a bit thinner and less obvious to wear with strappy shoes after a run though, you might want to try Elastoplast.

My most surprising discovery this week is Pretty Polly socks, as like most people, I associate them with stockings. Nevertheless, I’ve been wearing their socks with my shorts nearly every day now the spring weather has set in and love the way the bright colours and cute logo match my trainers. Besides looking pretty though they really do feel soft to run in and are thin enough to keep my feet cool and comfortable the whole time.

But my absolute top tip has got to be treating your feet to a good blast of scented foot spray after a long run. I keep mine in the fridge to make sure it’s always nice and cool, and love spraying it on when I sit down to relax. Right now I can’t imagine anything better than doing that with my first marathon under my belt!

Anne Marie Neatham
Visit my fundraising page

In next week’s blog, find out what Anne Marie thinks of the Sports Nutrition products she’s been given to keep her energy levels topped up for training.

Another chocolate? All in the name of charity

120317_blogOur fundraising activities took a lively twist this month, with a company-wide chocolate eating tournament for Macmillan.

To really appeal to our teams’ competitive natures, we knew the challenge needed to be, well, challenging. So, armed with hundreds of nutty, gooey, wafer-filled chocolates, we rallied the competitors.

Our strategy worked and they gathered en masse for the heats at our Head Office in Hatfield as well as spokes across the country. The rules were simple:

  • The aim is to eat as many chocolates as possible in one minute.
  • For the chocolates to count they must be unwrapped, swallowed and the wrapper placed in the container.
  • No drinks can be consumed during the challenge.
  • All participants must take part alone.
  • All participants must have raised £25 or more in sponsorship.
  • All participants must stay at the place of the challenge throughout the one-minute duration.

Check out the Head Office pictures. There’s Naomi who beat all the boys in her heat, eating six in a minute. Girl power. Unfortunately for her, Stephen Neil from the Dartford spoke snatched the title after eating a whopping seven in a minute. That’s just short of the Guinness world record of eight.

Congratulations Stephen and also a huge thanks to John Morris from Oxford who raised the most money. Overall, we raised £1,604 from the competition, taking our total so far to £32,335 for Macmillan. But we won’t stop there. Watch this space for more harebrained fundraising schemes this year.