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Asda delivery drivers wear ‘Happy to Chat about the game’ badges to help tackle loneliness during the summer of sport

June 17, 2024 08:00am
Happy to chat about the game
Happy to chat about the game

Ahead of the busy sports calendar, Asda has relaunched it’s ‘Happy to Chat’ initiative for across the summer, which offers its delivery drivers the option to add a new element to their uniform: a ‘Happy to Chat about the game’ badge to let customers know they’re happy to have a quick chat with them whilst their shopping is being delivered.

The initiative first launched as a trial in November 2000 in conjunction with the Royal Voluntary Service after it was recognised that the drivers formed a lifeline for some people throughout the covid pandemic, with almost a quarter (23%) of customers admitting they were only interacting with people once a week - many of whom were delivery drivers.

The scheme has re-launched as part of a wider campaign across the Summer, with Asda aiming to unite all ages and especially those who love sport whether that’s Football, Tennis or Cricket. The retailer’s Community Tracker, which looks at how customers, community groups and colleagues want to support their local communities, revealed that 60% of people surveyed think more needs to be done to combat loneliness and social isolation, with the elderly called out as the group most in need of support.

To encourage conversation and interaction amongst its older customer base, Asda is bringing back its renowned Happy to Chat initiative with a twist. Asda store and grocery home shopping colleagues will have the option to wear 'Happy to chat about the game' badges, prompting any customers who fancy a natter to chat to colleagues about the score or the upcoming game while getting their groceries.

David Hills, Asda’s Chief Customer Officer said: “We first trialled the Happy to Chat badges as part of the Covid pandemic in 2000 and quickly made them a permanent fixture for our drivers’ to wear. This summer, we want to ensure we are keeping the conversations going with our older customers, especially as one of our drivers maybe the only person they interact with that day. This badge is a symbol of our colleagues continued friendly and approachable service which can make such a difference to those that don’t have much contact with others. We want to make sure that whether it’s in our stores, at the doorstep or in the community – we’re here for customers this summer.”

Delivery driver, Andrew Nash from Morley Home Shopping Centre said: “When we initially launched the Happy to Chat badges to combat isolation during the pandemic we had such a positive response, especially from our older customers. I’m really pleased we have a twist on the badges so we can kick off a conversation whether that’s about the game or just to ask them how they are. I know from experience that even just having a few minutes chat with someone whilst you’re delivering their shopping can have a such a positive impact on their day.”

In addition to the badges, across June over 100 Asda stores will be hosting Nanzones in either their stores or local communities to celebrate the summer of sport. With many fan spaces not catering for the older generation, Asda are working with the community groups to bring them together to feel welcome and comfortable with otherwise many ending up following the games alone at home. 

Each Nanzone will give local elderly people the chance to unite over food, drink and fandom and are organised locally by Asda’s Community Champions. The events will be completely free to attend and the community space will be decked out with decorations and refreshments and even half time bingo.

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