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Sam's all smiles as Asda colleagues help him towards 21 challenges fundraising goal

February 25, 2022 12:56 PM

When the team at our Swindon Haydon store heard that Sam Russell-Pierce wanted to be an Asda colleague for the day to complete one of his charity fundraising challenges they pulled out all the stops to make sure he had a day to remember.

Sam, who has Down's syndrome, put smiles on lots of people's faces during the pandemic as he dressed as keyworkers such as a firefighter, doctor, police officer and an Asda colleague and stood on his doorstep and clapped as a mark of respect.

His heartwarming story was a big hit on Facebook, and he even got a shout-out on Loose Women to thank him for his kindness.

Twenty-nine-year-old Sam has been dressing up as different key workers to thank them for everything they've been doing...

Posted by Asda on Friday, January 29, 2021

On his 30th birthday last June, Sam began his 21 Challenges (as Down’s syndrome is also known as Trisomy 21) and so far he has raised £4.645 for Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group and the Uplands Enterprise Trust.

He's completed 17 of his 21 challenges so far, including a trip on the fastest zip-wire in the world, flying lessons both in a plane and helicopter, conducting a brass band and driving a steam train. Most of his challenges have been gifted by family and friends as well as well wishers.

One of his personal challenges was to work in Asda for the day alongside his Aunt Mel Walsh (pictured with Sam at the top) who work in our Swindon Haydon store, as does his cousin Stephen Goodwright.

The store's community champion Jane Atkin (below), who organised his work experience, said: "We were more than happy to help Sam and he loved every minute of his time here. We got him a uniform and he bought new shoes especially – he looked ever so smart.

"He visited all our departments and really loved making a pizza with our colleague Hayley Thorne, which he took home with him. He was smiling all the time and colleagues loved having him here."

He also helped out at our George department where he was shown around by section leader Andy Menday, (below).

His mum Leslye said: "Sam had a fantastic time in the store. The staff were so kind and understanding.
"We frequently shop in that store and everyone could see how proud Sam was to wear his uniform. I can’t thank Jane and the management enough for all their help in making this challenge possible. He couldn't wait for my husband Jon to come home to tell him about his day and of course to eat his delicious pizza of pepperoni, mushrooms, sweetcorn and chicken."

Sam still has four challenges to complete before June including photo bombing all Premier League grounds and Wembley stadium and taking part in a boxing event.