When colleagues at our Spennymoor store heard that regular customers Anne and Malcom Hoole would be spending their 40th wedding anniversary on their own because of lockdown restrictions they pulled out all the stops to make sure they still had a day to remember.
The couple's niece Margaret McLean, who lives in Glasgow, contacted the store to see if she could arrange to have some presents delivered to them, but the store's community champion Donna Dargue and deputy store manager Debra Brassell went one better, organising a whip-round among their colleagues and taking round bottles of wine, flowers, chocolates, cakes and balloons so they could celebrate.
Donna said: "The couple's niece actually phoned us to give us her bank details to do a shop for them, but we can't take someone's bank details so me and Debra had a chat and we decided to do a whip-round between the managers and colleagues. We got some wine and then the store donated a bunch of flowers, chocolates cakes and balloons.
"When we went round to the house we didn't have a clue who they were, so it was big surprise when they opened the door and I found it was Mr and Mrs Hoole, who have shopped with us for as long as I can remember. I've been at the store for 16 years and I've served them every Thursday!
"With what's going on people just need that little bit of a boost. We thought it would be nice to just help them to have a bit of celebration and we hope they both had an amazing day.
"They were so over the moon when we turned up. It was really nice for them. Margaret was thrilled too with what we had done."
Margaret said: "It made their day, it was just so, so wonderful. I was in tears when they told me what they had done.
"It was such a lovely, kind gesture. I was amazed. It was so special for my aunt and uncle as, because of Covid the family couldn't come to see them and my uncle had just come out of hospital too."