Everyone at our Torquay store is really proud of our fantastic colleague Katie Harper who divided her house in two during the lockdown to shield her husband Neil and allow her to continue in her keyworker role.
The couple, who've been married for 25 years and have four children, created a dedicated space for him at one end of the house and put their own social distancing and hygiene measures in place to prevent him coming into contact with the rest of the family.
They've now been reunited, and Katie says it was the first time they’ve spent so long apart.
“I didn’t see a reason not to go into work," said Katie. "I was on holiday the week before everyone went into lockdown and when I went in to do my shopping and saw everyone working so hard, there was no question that I had to help. I love my job and I just couldn’t think of being at home for all that time, so I just had to do it.
"It’s not the same as me being in a different place to him, but we’ve been married for 25 years and this is the longest we’ve spent apart. It was our anniversary the week before lockdown."
As Neil usually takes Katie to and from work, this also meant she would have a half-an-hour walk everyday to continue her role as a checkout colleague, but says the store has been very understanding and flexible with her shifts.
Katie said: "One night I was walking home and there was someone who shouted ‘thank you’ to me from over the road. It was so nice.
"There have been people coming up to us in store and saying ‘thank you’ and you realise that the job you’re doing really matters.
"It’s not just me who has had to adapt – we’ve all come together and played our part. We’re such a close team in Torquay and everyone has been brilliant."
Asda Torquay store manager Daniel Wildin was full of praise for Katie's dedication.
He said: "Katie has shown real dedication to her role and her colleagues, whilst making sure her family are safe, well and cared for.
"I would like to thank Katie for all of her hard work and want to let her know we're all proud of how determined she has been to change her day-to-day life to enable her to continue working here in store."