joseph clark bland morrisons

Name: Joseph Clark-Bland (he/him)

Job title: Corporate affairs manager – community & foundation

Company: Morrisons

What was your first job? As a teenager, my very first job was working at Topman in Bradford. Processing the deliveries was a perk because it meant you could put any of the newest lines to one side in your size before they sold out.

What’s been your worst job interview? I once went for an interview to work as events co-ordinator at a new hotel in Leeds. I was 20, I think, and the hiring manager spent a good five minutes grilling me on whether I thought it was “appropriate” or not to come to an interview having “not shaven” – I was sporting a very tidy chin-strap beard.

Looking back the design choice was probably an error… but it was definitely presentable and work appropriate! Thankfully, I didn’t hear back from them.

“It’s so important we demonstrate visible allyship, but this has to be backed up by authenticity for the LGBTQ+ community”

What was the first music single you bought? The first single I bought myself was Sandstorm by Darude! Still a banger today I think. But I was very obsessed with Kylie as a child and insisted my mum got I Should Be So Lucky, which played on repeat. The writing was on the wall.

How do you describe your job to your friends? In a nutshell, I help Morrisons give back to communities around our stores. I manage our Morrisons Foundation, which donates £2m a year to charities and our community programmes.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Our community champions are phenomenal. They work really hard to have an impact in their communities, especially around tackling food poverty. Seeing the mountains of thank you letters they receive and hearing the stories of people they’ve supported is really rewarding.

What is the least rewarding part? Every week we get lots of requests to support all kinds of great charities or projects and, as much as we’d love to, we can’t say yes to them all. I’m often the one that has to give the bad news. It’s so hard, especially when you can see the need is so great or the impact would be amazing.

If you were allowed one dream perk, what would it be? Definitely unlimited annual leave. My partner and I love to travel and it’s our ambition to help our son see as much of the world as possible.

Morrions Pride Birmingham

Source: Morrions

Joseph and Morrions colleagues at Birmingham Pride 2024

Do you have any phobias? Small spaces! The thought of caving or anything like that gives me goosebumps. And germs a bit too, I’m the first person to send colleagues home if they come in with a cold.

If you could change one thing in grocery, what would it be? Grocery retail is, in nature, so competitive. But there’s huge potential to have a transformative impact on key social issues such as food poverty if we combine all our efforts.

What luxury would you have on a desert island? I use the gym quite a bit for my mental health, so that would be ideal. Although obviously a phone to stay connected and pass the time would be a bonus.

What impact has your company’s support had on the LGBTQ+ community? Over the last few years, together with our suppliers, we’ve raised over £50,000 for Akt – a charity which supports young LGBTQ+ people.

We also have an initiative for Pride month every year, which sees us donate over £10,000 worth of products to local LGBTQ+ charities, community groups and events through our in-store community. It’s so important we demonstrate visible allyship through our channels, but this has to be backed up by authenticity in our support for the LGBTQ+ community.


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What has been the most embarrassing moment in your life? I’m struggling on this one. Maybe I’ve blocked them all out.

Which celebrity would you most like on a Pride parade float with you and why? Someone iconic like Tina Turner would be amazing. I bet she would have been an absolute riot. But also her whole attitude to life and overcoming adversity is really inspiring. 

But also, someone really random for the comedy value. Like that Peter from Come Dine With Me… ”You’ve won Jane. Dear Lord, what a sad little life.”

What would your death row meal be? It’s 26 degrees outside today, so this doesn’t feel quite right, but my mind went to roast leg of lamb with dauphinoise potatoes.  Crème brûlée for dessert.

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