Guests from a charity helping people with learning disabilities and autism to live independently had a fantastic time store trying out the Happy Little Helpers boards with Makaton counters at our Bangor store.

The boards are designed to make shopping trips more enjoyable and less stressful for people with additional needs.

The store's community champion Victoria Gregg regularly volunteers with the team and service users from Orchardville and invited them in to try the boards.

She said: "I've worked with Orchardville a few times now, – they've come in for bag packs to raise funds and have also received funding from our Green Token Giving vote.

"They absolutely loved using the boards and found them really useful as they went round the store doing a bit of shopping.

"They're such a wonderful group and it's always a pleasure to get involved with them."

We've worked with The Makaton Charity to roll out the boards, which use their well-known black and white symbols to help with communication.

Laura Jamison, Community Inclusion and Progression Co-ordinator at Orchardville, said: "At Orchardville, we work with young people and adults who have a learning disability or autism to help them achieve full and meaningful lives.

“Being able to take our Bangor group members to Asda to try out the new Makaton boards was an excellent opportunity as it allowed them to have the independence to work through their shopping list by themselves and find all of the items they needed.

“All of the group gave the boards a big thumbs up, so we will certainly be coming back with more of our members to try out the boards."

The Happy Little Helpers boards feature symbols for a range of items customers often buy in our stores. Since we first launched them in 2017 we’ve been working with The Makaton Charity to create a version that uses their well-known black and white symbols that are familiar to people who use them at school and in support groups.

The boards are available at more than 300 of our stores. Anyone who'd like to use one should call at the Customer Services desk when they arrive at the store, and a colleague will be able to advise on how to borrow a board and symbols for use throughout their shop.