Everyone at our Cookstown store is "super proud" of their popular colleague Aidan Campbell whose big smile and helpful attitude make him a real favourite with customers and colleagues alike.
Aidan, who's 32, has learning disabilities and difficulty with speech following kidney failure when he was just two months old. He's worked at the store for 11 years and is supported through Mencap NI's workable programme.
His mum Geraldine says the friendly store is just like a "home from home" for Aidan and he loves working there. So many people in the town know Aidan that she always hears great feedback about him.
Geraldine said: "He's very fond of the staff and they are very fond of him too – so are the customers. Aidan's 6ft 7in, so he's a big lad. He knows everybody, and I mean everybody, in Cookstown! All the customers know him. He waves to them just like the Queen when he sees them.
"A lot of people come up to me to say 'I saw Aidan today and he helped me find this and he helped me find that.' If anyone wants anything in Asda they ask Aidan and he'll show them the way.
"Aidan just loves his job and his confidence has really grown since he's been there. He's become more sociable and independent. He's got himself fit, he's lost weight and watches what he eats.
"I'd like to thank Asda for helping Aidan and employing him and being patient with him.
"Over the past 11 years you can count on one hand how many days Aidan has taken off sick – and he's been at the store throughout the lockdown too. He's never late either!"
The store's community champion Janice Gibson says Aidan is so well liked by colleagues and customers.
She said: "We are all super proud of Aidan. He's an extremely popular colleague. He's always polite and asks how you are? He is lovely and cheery, just a real nice person. If he can help you he will."
Her comments were echoed by colleague Alanna Donaghy who said: "No task is too big for Aidan. He's always smiling, very enthusiastic and a pleasure to work with."
Regular shoppers were full of praise for Aidan too, with Martin Hamilton saying: "Aidan is a great lad. He's so helpful and always happy", while Samantha Graham added: "Aidan is really helpful. He is such a lovely person and every time you see him he's always smiling."
Aidan's manager Emer Devlin, pictured above with Aidan, said: “Aidan's a much-valued member of our team. Everyone loves working alongside him as he always works really hard and goes the extra mile for his colleagues and customers.”
Mencap in Northern Ireland celebrated Aidan's achievements with this post on Facebook:
Aidan is a Retail Assistant in Asda in their Cookstown store and is supported by Mencap NI on the Workable Programme. ...Posted by Mencap in Northern Ireland on Friday, July 10, 2020
Emma Coney, Aidan's employment officer at Mencap NI, meets with him once a month and is always on hand to give him any support and guidance he needs.
She said: "I've known Aidan for a year now and his confidence, independence and communication has definitely grown. He absolutely loves his job and Asda are fantastic with him – so supportive and very accommodating."