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Little Ciaran forms special bond with Ann-Marie from Asda Dunbar

Little Ciaran Hay has been coming into our Dunbar store with his dad Niall and big brother Connor since he was born – and he's formed such a close bond with our wonderful colleague Ann-Marie Davidson that he always makes a beeline for her till to say hello.

April 22, 2022 07:00am
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Ciaran Hay with Ann-Marie Davidson at Asda Dunbar

Ciaran, who's three, loves to show Ann-Marie a different toy each week, putting it on her checkout for her to scan, before stopping for a chat while she scans the rest of Niall's shopping.

When the family called in shortly before Easter Ann-Marie wasn't at her till and word got back to her how much Ciaran had missed her, so she bought and made up a special Easter hamper for him, as well as arranging a special visit from the Easter Bunny to say that she'd missed him too!

Ann-Marie, who's worked at the store since it opened 14 years ago, said: "I've known Ciaran since he was a baby and he is just the loveliest boy. I've always said hi to him since he was tiny and as he's got older he always comes up to my till, bringing a toy for my conveyer belt which I pretend to scan for him. If there's a queue he will stand and wait for his turn to come and speak to me. He really is lovely.

"It's so nice knowing there's a little boy looking out for me when he comes in, and who wants to know about my day!

"I was upstairs on the telephone when they came in a couple of weeks ago and I heard that Ciaran was upset because he missed me, and all Niall got was, 'Daddy, where's my friend?' I felt bad, so I made him and Connor a little Easter basket with treats and bubbles, which they both loved."

Ciaran Hay and Ann-Marie Davidson at Asda Dunbar

Ann-Marie's son Jacob, who's eight, is a pupil at Dunbar Primary School, where Ciaran's mum Laura is the deputy headteacher, and she says her experience as a mum means she knows how important it is to make sure customers' children enjoy their trips to the store.

She said: "Having a boy of my own I relate to parents and their children. It can be hard for parents when their children get upset because they want things, so in my view children should be the main priority. You need to look after them – they're our future!"

Niall says Ann-Marie's friendly outlook makes a big difference when he brings Ciaran in to do the weekly shop.

He said: "It's not always easy shopping with a three-year-old just wants to run around and explore new things, but we would get to the checkouts and it would always be Ann-Marie and she would always be chatting away to him and making a fuss.

"He really enjoys seeing her and started bringing toys in with him, so she started making a game of it for him, which made it easier for me to load all the shopping and get things done while she's playing with him while still doing her job.

"As I'm finishing off packing he's still chatting away to her about what we're doing that day or where we're going. He really does enjoy seeing her."

Ann-Marie, who lives just a five-minute walk away from the store, says lots of colleagues and customers have a close bond at the store.

She said: "We're like a big family in that store. Dunbar's a small town, so everyone knows everyone else and so you form close relationships with your regular customers. I love working there, because they are like family not colleagues or customers. We always have our regulars, so you know who wants to have a laugh and a joke with you and who enjoys a nice bit of friendly banter."

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