Regular Asda customers Fred and Ann Ashley say our colleague Michelle Hawkins has provided a lifeline for them during the pandemic by doing all their essential shopping, saying: “We don’t know what we would have done without her.”
Fred, who’s 86, and 82-year-old Ann have shopped at our Witham store in Essex since it opened 10 years ago, forming a close bond with Michelle.
Whenever the couple need anything while shielding during the lockdown, Fred would just give Helen a call and she’d drop it off on the way home.
Fred said: "When the pandemic started last March and we had to isolate Michelle said to us that anything we needed she would get and run it over when she finished work. I would reimburse her on the doorstep
"She always made sure we were looked after. We can't thank her enough for what she has done. I don't know what we would have done without her. She offered to help straight away. She's a good one is Michelle – a lifesaver."
Fred says he and Ann love shopping at Asda.
He said: "It's like a corner shop to us. It's the nearest one to us as it's walking distance for us old ones! To keep my legs going I nip down there very early in the morning, just to give me the walk and to pick any bits that we need.
"I know Michelle very well. She's always been very helpful. I think she even recognises her regular customers from their backs! I'll be walking down the aisle with my back to her and she'll say' hello Fred! She's very good, always chatting.
With lockdown easing Fred's been able to return to his twice-weekly shopping trips to our store. He said: "It was so nice to go back and see everyone – they're all so polite and friendly there."
Michelle, who's worked at the store for five years, said: "I always have a chat to our regulars and when we went into pandemic I I gave Fred my phone number and said to him that if he needed anything he just had to let me know.
"He used to ring me sometimes twice a week with what they needed and I would just pop round when it. It's just round the corner from the shop, so not too far.
"I just like helping people. I'll do it for anyone. It's just the way I am really. It's nice to get a bit of praise, but I didn't do it for that, I did it because I like to help people and I always have."
Store manager David Smith, who nominated Michelle for an Asda customer service award, says everyone at the store is so proud of her acts of kindness.
He said: "Michelle doesn't talk about it and I certainly wasn't aware until a couple of months ago. She genuinely does it because she is such a fabulous person. Thank you Michelle, what a service superstar you are!"