Congratulations to our Hayes store's wonderful community champion Sam D'Souza who's been awarded a British Empire Medal for the way she's helped the local community during the pandemic.
Sam organised support for the most vulnerable people in the local community – arranging regular friendship calls for elderly people at risk of becoming isolation on their own during the lockdown.
Sam says she's thrilled to have been honoured, but thought it was a joke when she first heard.
“I’m incredibly proud to be receiving a British Empire Medal," said Sam. "I couldn’t believe it when I got the call – I thought it was a scam!
"When the pandemic hit, I knew my local community needed me the most, not only that but I wanted to ensure that I was supporting my colleagues and keeping up morale to enable us to continue to serve our customers.
"I’m really proud that I was able to play my part – whether that was supporting colleagues, providing comfort on the telephone to the most vulnerable or organising care packages for our frontline and care workers.
"I’m not stopping there, I’m still working on new ways to keep our communities connected but in the meantime, I’d like to thank everyone at the store and in the local community for their continued support, I’m truly overwhelmed.
"I love my role as a community champion here at Asda Hayes and it’s been by far my favourite role since I started with the business 29 years ago working across many different departments."
Store manager Stuart Harness says everyone at the store is really proud of Sam.
He said: "I'm over the moon for her. She's a brilliant colleague and will do anything to help anyone.
"When we were in the height of the lockdown the things she was doing for the NHS and care homes was amazing. It was under the radar, so not a lot of people knew it was happening, but she organised supplies of PPE, sent snacks and care packages and let all the keyworkers know we were there to support them.
"Sam's been brilliant during the pandemic, but then she's like that all time. I've worked with her for four years and she's one of those people who everyone likes. This store's like a family, so everyone will be so pleased for her. Today she's organised a Tickled Pink event, so I've got 50 colleagues in the store all dressed in pink in support of it. That's all down to Sam. I'm so proud of her."