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Steve goes the extra mile to keep deliveries moving during storms

A huge thank you to all our colleagues who've done so much to minimise the disruption caused by the series of severe storms which have battered the country over the last few weeks.

March 1, 2022 11:21am
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Steve Gatehouse from Asda Didcot distribution centre

So many colleagues went out of their way to keep essential supplies moving despite the disruption caused by high winds and floods – like Steve Gatehouse, who's transport department manager at our Didcot distribution centre.

Steve, who's worked for Asda for 26 years, was due to be working in the morning when Storm Dudley hit, but with the red weather warning for gale force winds meaning no lorries could leave, he cancelled his plans for that evening, including picking up his 12-year-old grandson Elvy, so he could come back to work later on and help get goods moving as soon as it was safe.

Distribution centre manager Richard Fielding said Steve typified the efforts of many people who went out of their way to ensure our stores received their groceries after the storm.

He said: "The storm meant we couldn't turn a wheel for five hours during what would have been our peak period for deliveries to stores, so it really was a challenge for us. The flexibility shown by a number of our colleagues like Steve helped us get through it.

"It was fantastically good to see that commitment from Steve, as well as a number of our drivers and other colleagues who changed their plans. His colleague Nick Townsend would otherwise have been on his own on what would normally be a quiet shift, but Steve recognised it would turn into an extremely busy and complex one, and made a big difference coming in.

"He wasn't the only one – we had drivers who came in for their shift as normal at the start of worst of the storm and saw the situation and said they would come back later in the afternoon when they could be more help, and other fantastic examples of flexibility such as colleagues in the warehouse who were due to be doing one task doing something else instead to make things run more smoothly when we were able to get back out there.

"It was a challenge, but we're on track now"

The team at our Didcot distribution centre made as many of the 100 different delivery runs they usual make per shift across Southern England and North and West London later in the day, when it as safe to resume driving, and caught up with outstanding deliveries the following day.

Richard said the effort during the storms was just the latest example of his team's dedication after they pulled out all the stops to keep delivering throughout the pandemic.

He said: "The last couple of years has fostered a great team spirit and sense of looking out for each other even more. I'm really proud of everyone and want to thank them all for their dedication and great team ethic."

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