Here’s the wonderful 102-year-old Jean McCullagh enjoying her first visit to her local Asda in Larne after our colleague Catherine McCallion got to know her through a charity knitting group they both attend.
Jean told Catherine, who’s the store’s Community Champion, she’d love to come in to shop in the store – so Catherine arranged a VIP visit.
Jean, who has five children and is a great-grandma, still lives independently but her mobility has been restricted after breaking her hip so she uses a wheelchair.
Jean thoroughly enjoyed her shopping trip and said: “It was lovely – I would love to come back again!”
Her daughter Sheila Mills, 72, normally picks up Jean’s shopping from the store. Sheila said: "A really big thank you to Catherine and all the colleagues for helping make mum’s visit possible. She really enjoyed it.
“She’s very witty and intelligent – people are amazed how able she is at 102. She’s enjoyed good health throughout her life.
“When we were younger she did so much for us. She would make us clothes, repair our shoes, put wallpaper up, paint the house and look after an allotment as well as cook and look after us all.”
Catherine said: "Jean said she couldn’t believe how big the store was. She was talking away to everybody.
“Jean is an amazing wee lady – she’s sharp as a tack and is so funny. She has a wonderful sense of humour.”
Catherine volunteers every week at the Age UK knitting group Jean is part of, and when Jean turned 102 last November she presented her with an Asda birthday cake.
Catherine said: "When we presented her with the cake she was overwhelmed – her wee face was a picture. It brought tears to my eyes.
“The group have all been knitting hats for premature babies at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, and they’ve taught me all sorts of knitting patterns too.
“They’re a fantastic group, like a big family, and they have made me feel part of it. I just love going there and helping them out every Tuesday.”
The group is made up of local ladies aged from their seventies up to 102-year-old Jean.