GT – What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

Hearing first hand from our beneficiaries about how the support given to them by GroceryAid changes their lives on a daily basis. Whether through the provision of a bed, financial assistance in times of crisis or simply a listening ear through our 24/7, confidential Helpline. Our support can often make the difference between ’existing’ and ‘living’.

Mandi Leonard, Welfare Director, GroceryAid

GT – Who’s inspired you most in your career?

My Dad. He started his own stationery company in our garage at home and by the time he retired he employed over 100 staff – thankfully he’d moved out of the garage by then! He taught me that hard-work and perseverance pays off.

GT – If you were an item in a supermarket’s stock list, what would you be?

A bottle of bubbly.

GT – If you had to do it all over again, what would you do different?

I’ve worked in occupational benevolent funds for 16 years and if I had to do it all over again I’d have entered the charitable sector earlier. I truly believe that benevolent funds that help people based purely on their work history are the unsung heroes of the sector.

GT – What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you at work?

Tripping and falling over in an office full of my colleagues a few weeks into my role as Welfare Director.

GT – Who or what makes you laugh?

Tim Vine and any good observational humour!

GT – Do you have any hidden talents?

Sadly not.

GT – Who would be your favourite party guest?

That would have to be Gary Barlow. He seems like an all-around nice guy and being a Take That fan, I would get him to provide the entertainment.

GT – What is the greatest luxury in your life?

Being able to wake up and function every morning; many of our beneficiaries do not have this luxury and I never take it for granted.

GT – What is your favourite guilty pleasure?

The aforementioned bottle of bubbly.

GT – Do you have any secret ambitions?

I’d like to be a published author – does this count?

GT – What’s your dream holiday destination?

The Maldives, it’s on my ‘To Do’ list.

GT – What are your three favourite movies of all time?

Terms of Endearment, It’s a Wonderful Life and Notting Hill – I’m a sucker for a sad film with a happy ending.

GT – What is your favourite book of all time?

To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee.

GT – What’s your favourite pastime?

I love taking the dog out for a walk, even in the cold!

GT – If you won the Lottery, what would you do?

I’d make sure that my family and friends were settled and make a large donation to GroceryAid.

GT – What would be your advice to someone thinking about coming into this industry (apart from “don’t do it”)?

Find a brand/business that you’re passionate about and whose values you believe in.


GroceryAid is the charity that helps people across the whole of the grocery industry. GroceryAid currently helps more than 14,000 grocery colleagues financially and through the 24/7 freephone Helpline and will spend in excess of £4.5M on welfare support this year.

To take part in Quote Unquote please call: 01923 272960 or email:


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