Pupils from a school for children and young adults with learning difficulties are growing in confidence and picking up important skills for when they leave education thanks to their regular work experience placements at our Dundonald store.
The store's community champion Sharon McBratney has arranged the placements for pupils from Tor Bank School after striking up a great relationship with teaching staff.
Students visit the store once a week on a four-week placement to find out more about how different departments work. They're even given uniforms and name badges to make them feel like part of our team.
Robert McGowan, who's a member of the school's sixth form teaching department, said: "For us to be able to partner up with Asda is invaluable – we're absolutely delighted.
"The students learn about the world of work, and the visits help them develop their social skills too. It means so much to them.
"We're a school for children and young adults with severe learning difficulties. Once the students reach 16, it's all about preparing them for life beyond school. We want to empower them for their journey into adulthood.
"Pupils go in one day a week for four weeks. Sharon buddies up with them, and they spend the day on a range of departments, finding out more about what colleagues do, and giving them a hand with tasks.
"It's been a real success and we're hoping to extend it to other stores in the area."
Pupil Conor McSherry, who has autism, is currently on placement at the store. He said: "I've really enjoyed it. I've been shown how the tills work and got involved in stacking the shelves too. Everyone has made me feel really welcome."
Conor's dad Con said: "He loves Asda because they don't treat him any differently to anybody else.
"Conor's bright, polite and helpful and the work experience has helped his confidence. We're regular customers at the store and it's just been great for Conor."
Pupil Josh Halliday also visited the store once a week during a four-week period, and said: "I really enjoyed my time at Asda. I did jobs such as the till, stacking shelves, and helped in the warehouse. The staff were really nice and friendly. They made me feel very welcome."
Sharon said: "This has been the most amazing thing I've been involved in during my time at the store. All of the students have a great attitude and I have a real laugh with them. It's humbling to see them make the most of this opportunity."