Niel Barnard was devastated when the sheltered workshop he’d worked at for 22 years closed and he couldn’t find another job. But he’s now going from strength to strength after our Luton store took him on as a porter.
His mum Barbara Edlin contacted us on Facebook to say what a difference it had made to Niel, who has mild cerebral palsy and learning difficulties.
She said: “Asda really do look after those who have special needs and bring the best out of them … the Luton team are like one big family.”
Barbara, who’s 74, said: "Niel really enjoys his job as a porter. He’s been nominated for employee of the month a couple of times which has really boosted his morale. He’s also trained to work on the checkouts so helps out there when needed and loves that too.
Earlier this year the Luton store was damaged in a fire, and colleagues worked at other stores while repairs were carried out.
Barbara said: “Neil worked at Dunstable and I don’t think they wanted him to go back to Luton because they said he was such a good worker! The Luton colleagues are a very social group and include him in all their plans.”
Niel, who’s 50, said: "I enjoy my job, it’s really rewarding when customers praise you for helping them.
“I don’t let my disabilities affect my day to day life – I just get on with things.
“I was pleased when the Luton store reopened. It was nice to see a few colleagues I hadn’t seen for a while. I got on well with the Dunstable colleagues too.”
The store's community champion Amanda Burnham said: “Niel is very helpful and is very happy to help out on checkouts when required as well. He gets on so well with everyone – he’s brilliant!”