Seven-year-old Dylan Russell was invited in for a special day “working” in our Huyton store after colleagues spotted him tidying up the baskets at one of the checkouts.
Dylan, who has autism, used to get anxious or restless towards the end of shopping trips until he struck up a great relationship with colleagues like Gareth.
His mum Michelle says he’s “in his element” when he’s in Asda and wants to work on the checkouts when he grows up.
Michelle said it all started on one visit when Dylan had been helping with the shopping and wanted to continue helping when they finished and reached the checkouts.
“He started tidying up the baskets at the end of one of the tills. Gareth looked over and I said ‘Is he ok to do that’?
“Gareth said ‘Course he is’ and it went from there.”
Gareth, who’s a checkout runner, said: "He was such a friendly and pleasant lad and I chatted to him and his mum before they left.
“I didn’t think too much of it until the next week when he came in again, saw me and said ‘Hello Gareth, how are you?’ I knew then I’d made a little friend! That time I got him to hold one of the signs we use to point out a free checkout.
“We knew he would be coming back the week after so we made him a name badge which he loved and took home with him.
“It’s just been little things really to show him what we do and make him feel welcome when he comes to the store.”
On his most recent visit, colleagues arranged for Dylan to have a VIP store tour where he made his very own pizza, saw where deliveries arrived and even had a quick peek in the freezer.
Michelle said: "I can’t thank Gareth enough for everything he’s done for Dylan. The store tour was absolutely brilliant – Dylan loved it and we’re so touched.
“He’s told everyone what Gareth has done for him and keeps saying ’I’ve got a name badge’. He’s even been telling everyone he works at Asda! He’s in his element when he’s in the store.”
Deputy store manager Ian Talbot said: “Gareth is a very good colleague. He’s very lively, bubbly and can never do enough to help every customer he comes across.”