Our colleague George combines working at Asda Lowestoft with helping to save lives at sea as a lifeboat volunteer for the RNLI.
George, who’s a porter, carries a pager with him at all times at the store so he can respond to emergencies and make the short dash to the nearby lifeboat station.
The store have given George, who’s 27, special permission to combine both roles. He joined the store nine years ago and completed his training to be an RNLI volunteer three years ago.
George said: "Joining the RNLI is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid. When I told the general store manager Ian what I was planning to do he was very pleased and has been very supportive – as all of the colleagues have. Asda were also great with letting me switch shifts so I could attend training.
“Every time I get a call-out I tell my duty manager as quickly as I can, get in my car and drive two minutes to the lifeboat station.
“We can go two weeks or longer without a call-out then we can get a few in a week – you just don’t know. I’m on call 24 hours a day and we’ve had about five or six call-outs so far this year.
“I’ve been out to rescue yachts that have engine problems, people in the water – all sorts of things. The tides around Lowestoft can come in quickly which can be dangerous and catch people out.”
John Fox, Coxswain and Mechanic at Lowestoft lifeboat station, said: "Asda have been great. It seems increasingly rare that companies support their colleagues in this way and the fact Asda always allow him to attend call-outs when he’s at work is a very good thing.
“He’s a sterling young man and everyone likes him – he’s super keen to help. He’s one of 15 volunteers who are on-call day and night, and without them we wouldn’t be able to get the boat out to help people so we’re hugely grateful to all of them.”
The store is less than a mile from the station and is only a few hundred yards from the coastline.
General store manager Ian Grieve said: "George is a great colleague and we’re very pleased with what he does both in the store to help customers and for the RNLI.
“He’s incredibly passionate about his work with the RNLI and we’ve been flexible with him although he does a lot in his spare time too. He went through quite a lot of theory and practical work to fully qualify as a lifeboat volunteer and we were happy to arrange his shifts around that.”