Asda colleagues arrange 90th birthday surprise so Eileen isn’t alone on her big day during lockdown
PUBLISHED: 12:26 08 June 2020 | UPDATED: 13:36 08 June 2020
A Wisbech woman who feared spending her 90th birthday alone because of the coronavirus lockdown ended up having a day she’ll never forget thanks to her local Asda.
Observing social distancing guidelines, colleagues decorated the outside of Eileen Hamilton’s bungalow with balloons, brought her cake and flowers and read out birthday messages from her family before singing happy birthday.
Eileen, a former nurse, said: “It was absolutely fantastic. I couldn’t believe it - it was like a fairytale!
“The thoughtfulness and kindness of people is out of this world. I was so overwhelmed when I saw everyone from Asda in their green uniform all outside.”
Store manager Matt Morris joined the celebrations with colleagues outside Eileen’s house.
He said: “We found out through our drivers that she was going to the celebrating her 90th birthday and because of her having family in the north of England and in New Zealand who couldn’t get to see her, we arranged that we would go round and celebrate with her.
“We all went round in a convoy and we met up with some of her neighbours too.
“We put some balloons on the house and a happy birthday banner on the front door and some flowers and cakes outside – and then knocked and backed away.”
Mr Morris said they’d had discussions with Eileen’s daughter Christine Maskill, who puts in her regular home shopping order.
She sent a number of family messages for Asda driver Geoff Norris to read out. These included a happy birthday message from her youngest great grandson Jack.
Mr Morris added: “Eileen was taken back a bit by it all and quite emotional. She was very thankful and it really made her day. It was amazing to see everyone pull together.
“She was a nurse for many years before she retired so we thought it was the right thing to do.”
Christine, who lives in York, said: “I’d been emailing Geoff my mum’s shopping and I’d mentioned that it wasn’t going to be the 90th birthday we had planned for her, as we were meant to be going to Scotland for a week.
“Then he contacted me to say that if it was alright with us, they would like to do a surprise for her.
“Although I couldn’t be there I’ve seen a lot of photographs sent to me by neighbours and it was wonderful what Geoff and the others did.
“It was very thoughtful. It was a lovely birthday that will not be forgotten. People are still talking about it.
“Many of those colleagues have never met my mum before, but they give up their time to stand outside and clap and cheer and sing happy birthday. That was a wonderful gesture.”
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