Words by Smiley Team
When the team at Asda Swinton store found out just how much ten-year-old Jacob Shepherd loves his regular shopping visits with his mum Emma, they arranged for him to have his own Asda uniform, lanyard and name badge and gave him the chance to go on the checkouts and Tannoy.
Jacob, who lost his sight when he was 10 months old following a brain tumour, always chats to his favourite colleagues when he comes in twice a week with Emma.
Rachel Howarth, the store's ambient section manager who organised the visit, says Jacob is a "little gem" who everyone at the store is so fond of.
"He's such a lovely character and everyone knows him in the store," said Rachel. "For Christmas I promised to get him his own Asda uniform so he could wear it and come and join us. He was so happy with it.
"I arranged for him to come in when I was on a late shift and he had a go on checkouts and enjoyed the fuss and the chocolates he took home.
"Jacob had a brain tumour when he was just a baby and unfortunately lost his sight, but this does not stop this young man. Every time he comes in he tells us what he's been up to.
"He recently completed 10 lengths of the swimming pool at school and he plays the piano too. His disability certainly doesn't stop him."
Emma, who lives just around the corner from the store, said she couldn't thank the team at Asda Swinton enough for their kindness towards Jacob. "Jacob's very well known in the store; he loves the colleagues there and they love him," she said.
"I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone there. They have been absolutely brilliant. I couldn't ask anymore from them. They are just super with him. I'm so grateful. He loves going in and he wants to work there when he gets older.
"He's got an incredible memory and knows the colleagues by their voices – and he knows all their phone extension numbers too.
"He had a great time on the checkouts as he loves scanning and going on the Tannoy.
"People don't believe me at first when I tell them that he can't see. He loves playing the piano and he's just started playing the guitar more seriously and he's very good at that too. We are very proud of him."
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