Our Wheatley store’s fantastic community champion Angie Young worked as a nurse for the National Health Service for 30 years – and as part of the NHS’s 70th anniversary celebrations she presented the team at the South Central Ambulance Service with a cake.
Angie said: "It felt wonderful to go along and see them and give them a small token of our appreciation for everything they do. The NHS is the most fantastic resource ever seen as far as I'm concerned.”
Crews from the South Central Ambulance Service have been called to the store a few times over the years to help customers and colleagues.
Angie said: "It's easy for people to overlook the work that these guys do. When people think of the NHS, they often think about doctors and nurses rather than the ambulance crews, but they're the crucial first point of contact and do an absolutely marvellous job.
"They were absolutely chuffed to bits that we'd thought of them. There were big smiles all round and they really appreciated it."
Angie, who's worked for Asa for 10 years, says the skills she learned in her nursing career have been useful in her role as community champion.
She said: "Within psychiatry, your main tool is talking to people of any age, from any part of the world, about anything.
"So, after 30 years of doing that, I can immediately find something in common to talk to people about. I'm not shy talking to someone I don't know.
"Sometimes a simple 'hello' can make such a difference. By just saying 'good morning' and smiling at customers and colleagues in the store, you've made them feel like they've made a friend.
"It's the same as when I used to walk round the wards saying 'morning', or 'how are you?' – it transfers over."
Angie was 19 when she joined a school of nursing attached to Littlemoor Hospital in Oxford – now Littlemoor Mental Health Centre. She joined Asda 10 years ago.
She said: "I completed three years as a student nurse, then I was a staff nurse for many years. When I had a family I went on to night duty, I was a night sister, and then I went back on to the wards as a registered psychiatric nurse.
"I was mainly involved in elderly care and dealing with the main types of dementia.
"Dementia can change someone's personality. Someone who was very gentle can become very aggressive. That's what I specialised in – reacting and adapting to behaviours, so those behaviours became more manageable."
Ross Cornett, head of operations for NHS Oxfordshire, said: "South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is very proud to be part of the NHS, an organisation that has served the whole population of the UK for the past 70 years.
"The support and good wishes of the public mean a lot to all NHS staff, and we are very grateful to the staff and customers of Asda for choosing to help us celebrate the 70th birthday of the NHS."
Anyone who works for the NHS can claim a free hot drink from our stores with a cafe on Thursday 5 July. Here are details of participating stores. Find out more about how the NHS is celebrating its 70th anniversary here.