A YOUNG Strabane boy has helped bring some festive cheer to colleagues and customers alike at a local supermarket.
Matthew Devine (8) was invited to visit his favourite supermarket – Asda – by the store’s ‘Community Champion’, Matthew Tracey, and it was an experience he thoroughly enjoyed.
Since birth, Matthew has accompanied his mum, Hayley, on the weekly shop to their local store and is well-known and loved by all in-store – with Matthew dreaming of working for the retailer when he grows up.
His mum explained: “Matthew loves coming with me to Asda as all of the colleagues make us feel so welcome – they have watched my son grow up over the years. From the security colleagues who welcome us on arrival to Nicola at the checkout, who allows Matthew to help her scan through my groceries – something he looks forward to every visit!
“Asda Strabane has also supported my family and the local community in a wider sense. When Matthew was born, I struggled to find a local Down Syndrome support group – and ended up setting one up.
“By allowing our group to raise funds in-store, Asda Strabane plays an important role in supporting the 25 families who now make up our network.
“A special thank-you to all of the colleagues at Asda Strabane who make us feel so at home on every visit. I recently bought Matthew his Christmas outfit in Asda – and when Community Champion, also Matthew, invited us in-store for this special festive visit, my son couldn’t have been more excited to get dressed-up and see all his friends in the store.
“With his very own name badge, and big dreams of working for Asda when he’s grown-up, Matthew really is Asda’s biggest fan!”
Also speaking of the visit, the store’s Matthew Tracey said he and his colleagues were only too happy to see the ‘ray of sunshine’ pay them a special visit.
“Matthew is like a ray of sunshine every time he comes instore,” he said. “We love to see Matthew and his mum, Hayley, arrive for their weekly shop – and I was especially excited to organise a special visit to the store ahead of Christmas.
“I am also delighted that through my role as a Community Champion, I can help Hayley raise funds for the work her Down Syndrome support group carries out in the local community – an invaluable resource for families to come together to share experiences and enjoy spending time together.
“We would like to wish Matthew a Merry Christmas from everyone at Asda Strabane – he’s our very own little Christmas star!”