"She's been nothing short of a lifesaver to me – a genuine superstar!"
That's what Linda Bolas said about her colleague Denise McGee who's done all her essential shopping for her while she's been shielding and has always been there for her when she's needed a chat.
Linda lives by herself and doesn't have any family nearby, so has relied on the kindness of Denise.
With shielding coming to an end, she wanted to say thank you to her friend, who she's nominated for an Asda award.
Linda, who's worked at our Winsford store for seven years, said: "The shielding situation left me feeling lonely, vulnerable, isolated, stressed and scared as I have no family nearby able to help me. This is where Denise stepped up. She has been nothing short of a lifesaver to me.
"After working on the busy checkouts at our store she has picked up essential shopping for me and delivered it with a smile to my door – socially distancing naturally."
Fifty-eight-year-old Linda, who nominated her friend for an Asda award, said: "When she comes round she is the only face I see that day. Not only does she bring my shopping, but she lifts my spirit too. She is genuinely a superstar!"
Linda says she's been "truly humbled and often brought to tears" by her generosity.
Linda, who's had to shield due to colitis, said: "I was tearful when I told Denise hat I had to shield and I said to her 'How am I going to get to food?' and she just said to me: 'Don't worry, I'll get your stuff for you."
"She's been bringing my food once a week, but she will get me my shopping whenever I need it. She keeps messaging me to ask if I need anything and If I'm okay. I don't know what I'd do without her. I can't thank her enough."
"I've always been independent, but I've found myself in a situation where I've had to ask people for help or take up their offers. It has been a good lesson for me that I have had to reach out to people more. When they say 'times like these brings people together' it is very, very true."
Linda's returning to work at the store next week – and says she can't wait.
"I am super-excited that shielding is ending," she said. "I have learned how important human contact and friends are. I'm really looking forward to seeing the real faces of my friends and colleagues. Beneath my mask I will be smiling!
"It will be great to be in work and have a purpose in life once again. The help I have had from Denise has been heartwarming and invaluable."
Denise, who's a mum of three, has worked at our Winsford store for 16 years.
She said: "I just said to Linda I'd do her shopping and drop it off on the way home as she doesn't live too far away. I just didn't think about it.
"I do appreciate her saying the things she has, but it just seemed to be the answer to her problems. I often do a shop after work so it was totally natural to do hers as well. I have a car, so it was no problem. It's nice to have a quick chat too.
"I was a bit taken aback when she said she'd nominated me for an award – but it was a lovely gesture."
Margaret Taylor, the store's customer service manager, says she's so proud of Denise for all the help and support she's given Linda while she's been shielding.
"Colleagues like Denise are a credit to Asda and we are extremely proud to have her with us in Winsford," said Margaret. "What a lovely friend to Linda she has been.
"I am so proud of our whole team for keeping each other safe and looking out for each other in a very difficult time. Thank you Denise and to a wonderful team."