Asda deliverers will combat pandemic loneliness by wearing badges to encourage customers to talk when receiving their groceries.
The initiative is backed by the Royal Volunteer Service (RVS), a charity that provides support and companionship, with delivery drivers becoming a key point of contact for many people during the coronavirus pandemic.
It will see the supermarket’s 7,500 deliverers get the chance to wear a badge saying ‘happy to chat’ to let customers know they have time to talk.
“At the times we are currently in, we are sometimes the only person the customer sees all week,” said a driver.
Drivers have also received guidance from the RVS in signaling whether or not someone on the door stop shows signs of loneliness.
Anna-Maree Shaw, chief customer officer at Asda, said, “It is a challenging time for everyone, especially those experiencing loneliness.
“While Asda colleagues have always done their best to have a chat and a smile, we want to make sure we are in front of customers this Christmas, whether in our stores, at the door or in the community . “
Sam Ward, deputy general manager and director of services at the RVS, said: “Royal Voluntary Service is incredibly proud to be part of such a wonderful initiative alongside Asda. We all understand that Christmas can be difficult for those alone and this year will be harder than ever.
“With the help of this fantastic project, it goes to show that even a little bit of kindness before Christmas will go a long way in making the holidays easier for those in need.”