Wilf who always has a smile on his face shops and chats to colleagues like Linda, who’s worked there for 47 years

Wilf Reed, 82, visits his local Asda store in Thornaby every day of the week and admits friendly colleagues, like community champion Linda Moody, are the reason he comes back day after day.

Born in Thornaby in 1935, Wilf stayed in the area whilst he worked as a labourer and security guard before retiring in 1996. After his wife of 60 years, Marion, passed away in 2013, his daughter Elaine describes the store as having become a social outlet for her father and the colleagues are like extended family members.

Elaine said; “He's been going there for donkey's years but they've recently become like a family. They really look after him; he always has a smile on his face as he shops and loves to chat to all the colleagues.”

Wilf said; “Before my wife passed she told me to look after our children and grandchildren so that's what I do. I like to buy sweets, scented candles and George clothes for the grandchildren. I also pick up bits for myself, magazines, newspapers and the like.

"I've been coming to the store for 50 years, and since I retired I’ve gone in every morning, seven days a week unless I'm unwell. I either get the bus or one of my daughters gives me a lift.

“The colleagues always look out for me”, Wilf said; "I love going up there – I almost feel like I'm part of the team! They're all good friends. Linda is very friendly – I’ve got to know her well over the last few years. We always have a laugh and a joke.”

Linda Moody, who’s worked at the Thornaby store since leaving school in 1970, says its meeting people like Wilf that make her job as the store’s community colleague so rewarding.

Linda said; “Wilf’s smashing, a real character and he loves to joke around. It's just lovely because I live close to the store and I've got to know lots of people in the area through working here.

“I just love my job. I love the store, I love my colleagues and I love the customers. I’ve seen little kids come in and grow up, get married and have their own kids. I'm sure I'll be marking 50 years of service soon!”

Scott Maconachie, general store manager at Asda Thornaby said; "Wilf is a big personality with a great sense of humour and is a genuinely nice guy, the colleagues just love him. He comes in every day, never complains and always has a smile on his face."

"Linda is a brilliant colleague, and her friendship with Wilf is just one example of how involved in the community she is – she's a cornerstone of the store.

“Her service is outstanding; we always get great comments from customers about her. She's Asda through and through.”

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