Ahead of Father's Day nine-year-old Max Blackburn wanted to let everyone know just how much of a hero his dad John is ... so he wrote to the "Big Boss at Asda Poole" – store manager Ryan Smith – to tell him.
He sent a touching letter saying how proud he is of porter and home shopping colleague John for everything he's doing at work, as well as for checking on, and shopping for, elderly relatives and neighbours throughout the lockdown – something Max often helps him with.
Max wrote: "I think my dad is everyone's hero. So when you see him please tell him that he's my and mummy's hero. Thanks for looking after him at work – you are all Asda heroes."
Ryan says the letter from Max is "simply brilliant".
He said: "When I initially saw it I thought who's sent this to the 'Big Boss', but when I read it and saw it was from a nine-year-old boy I thought wow. It was beautiful; really, really nice."
And Ryan is definitely in agreement with Max about John, saying: "He's not only our hero, but our superstar as well.
"He's a fantastic colleague, very popular in store, and always going out of his way to assist customers. He's dedicated and hard-working and he's always got the customer's best interests at the heart of what he does. John's definitely playing his part in feeding the nation big time at the moment."
John, who's worked at the store for two years, said: "I'm very proud of my son for writing in. I was really chuffed when I found out that he wrote in. Max calls me his hero which is lovely. I said to him that I couldn't be around a lot at the moment and he was very understanding. He knows that what I do is important.
"I used to work two till ten at night in the car park and on the tills, then I was asked if I could help on home shopping. So now I do two in the morning til 8am and then do trolleys in the car park from 8am to midday."
Since the start of the lockdown he's checked on his mother Margaret, 72, mother-in law Maureen, 82, and an elderly neighbour every day and also done their shopping once a week too. He was also the full-time carer of his elderly father Reginald, who sadly passed away recently.
John said: "When I finally get home at about 5.30pm to 6pm I see little Max for half an hour to an hour and get something to eat and then I'm in bed... and then I'm back up again at 12.30am to start all over again."
Happy Father's Day to all the dads who work at Asda.
Celebrating Father's Day at our Halifax store will be our long-serving colleague Tanveer Hussain who's had the pleasure of working alongside his son Faisel during the lockdown.
Bakery colleague Tanveer's worked in our store for 16 years, while 20-year-old Faisel joined as a temporary home shopping and security colleague three months ago.
Tanveer said: "It's really nice working alongside Faisel; he's a good kid. Although we work different shifts we do see each other a lot. I have Sundays off so I will be at home relaxing on Father's Day. Faisel will be working, but we will be seeing each other at some point during the day." The store's community champion Amanda said: "They are both amazing colleagues and good friends to each and everyone of us in store."
At our Clydebank store two of our colleagues – dads Peter Parsons and Chris Ross – work alongside their children.
Peter has been customer trading manager in the store for two years and with Asda since 1997, while his 18-year-old daughter Rachel has a part-time role on home and leisure while studying at college and his son Ryan, who's 16, is a temporary porter before he goes back to school.
Peter said it was great to work alongside his children and to see them flourish and develop.
He said: "Rachel's confidence has come on leaps and bounds since she started working here. Ryan was quite quiet at first, but now he's come out of his shell a bit too. The colleagues here have been great with them.
"I'll be working on Father's Day and so too are Rachel and Ryan so I should see them at work and and them at home - we'll probably have a steak pie on Sunday or something like that. I've told them I want a good gift too!"
Night shift manager Chris works alongside his daughters, Zoe and Melissa. George colleague Zoe, who turns 18 on Monday, has worked in the store for a year-and-a-half while her 21-year-old sister Melissa, who works on checkouts, had been there for two years. Recently, their mum, Nuala, helped out there too at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
Zoe said: "It's nice working alongside my dad, but because he's on nights I only see him at work when I'm working later in the day. I suppose it is unusual having you dad and sister work at the same place, but this is my first ever job so I know no different."
Chris, who's worked at the store for six years, said: "The girls get on well with everyone in the shop which is great. Everyone know them there."
He said the family weren't down to work on Father's Day, adding: "I'll no doubt be having a beer in the garden if the weather's good!"
Getting ready for Father's Day is our Pwllheli store manager Stuart Lee and his 19-year-old son Cameron, pictured above, who's worked with Asda since he was at school.
Stuart said: "It was a bit unusual at first working with Cameron, but it's really good seeing him around. He's very well liked by colleagues here too. When he first started he was very quiet, but he's come out of himself. It's done him a lot of good working in Asda. I'm not in on Father's Day, but Cameron's working so I will see him at some point when he comes home. I've given him a hint of what I'd like as a present though!"
Cameron started working part-time at Pwllheli when he was 16, but when he moved to Liverpool to study for a policing degree at the city's university he joined the Bootle store. When lockdown began and the university closed, he returned home to help out at Pwllheli again.
Our store's community champion Jo Scott said: "Cameron's a real character who joins in on community events with a wicked sense of humour. He's a really nice colleague who's really valued in our store!"
Five colleagues at our Enniskillen store are marking Father’s Day with a difference this year by spending some quality time working alongside their dads. There are five family connections in-store, including father and son duos, Bob and Jamie Taylor and Mark and Matthew Howe.
Bob Taylor, pictured above, described an average day working with his son Jamie. He said: “I’m part of the security team at Asda Enniskillen and have been for 10 years, but over the past few months I have been helping out on the checkouts. Since coming off security nightshifts, Jamie and I have been able to spend our lunchtimes with each other – allowing us to catchup on everything. It’s really lovely to be able to spend some quality time together outside of our home.”
Checkouts colleague Jamie said: "I really love working here with Dad. My mum actually works here too, so it’s nice to have the family all together – except for my little brother who is still a bit too young to get a job! At least I can have a look around at the great Father’s Day gifts here in store. Dad might even throw some hints at what he likes!”
Security colleague Mark Howe, pictured below, said Matthew first started as a temporary staff member over the Christmas period, but recently re-joined the team to help throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.
He said: “Although we never really see each other when at work, it’s nice to share the journey to and from work and spend some quality time with each other – I’m sure Matthew would say the same!”
Other dads and their children who work together in store include Trevor and Warren Carruthers, Pawel and Natan Zietek and Barney and Ryan McGandy.