Asda’s delivery drivers will combat pandemic-induced loneliness by wearing badges to encourage customers to talk when receiving their shopping.
The initiative is backed by the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), a charity which offers 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 7500 delivery drivers given the opportunity to wear a badge which reads ‘happy to chat’ to let customers know they have the time to talk.
“The times that we’re in at the moment, sometimes we’ll be the only person the customer sees all week,” said one driver.
Drivers have also been given guidance from the RVS in identifying whether or not somebody on the doorstop is exhibiting signs of loneliness.
Anna-Maree Shaw, chief customer officer at Asda, said: “It’s a challenging time for everyone, especially those experiencing loneliness.
“While Asda colleagues have always made an effort to have a quick chat and raise a smile, 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 Christmas.”
Sam Ward, deputy chief executive 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 who are on their own and that this year stands to be trickier than ever.
“With the help of this fantastic project, it shows that even just a little Christmas kindness will go a long way in making the festive season easier for those in need.”