Asda to tackle lockdown loneliness with their new ‘happy to chat’ badges

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  • Asda delivery drivers will be spreading a little more joy this festive season.

    Aside from bringing customers their usual grocery deliveries, some of Asda’s drivers will now have ‘happy to chat’ badges. This news comes as the retailer is hoping to help combat the huge increase in loneliness throughout the pandemic. 

    For many people, chatting with delivery drivers is the only regular social interaction they get. With a new tier system soon to come into place and festivities just around the corner, it’s never been more important to spread a little happiness.

    What have Asda done to help tackle loneliness?

    Low-cost supermarket Asda have launched a new initiative which will see some of their delivery drivers wearing ‘happy to chat’ badges. These indicate they are more than happy to stop and have a longer talk with customers. 

    It’s a clear sign and the retailer hopes the badges will encourage people to start a proper conversation. This in itself could be truly life-changing for thousands of people.

    Not every delivery driver will have a ‘happy to chat’ badge, it will be left up to the individual drivers. This way customers know that when they see a badge, their delivery driver is genuinely up for a chin-wag whilst making their Christmas deliveries.

    What support has Asda had for their badges?

    This wonderful initiative has been backed by the Royal Voluntary Service. The charity offers companionship and support to those in need.

    They have given guidance to drivers to help them identify whether or not somebody is exhibiting signs of loneliness. This will then help drivers to engage with those who need the social interaction most. 

    Sam Ward, deputy chief executive and director of services at the RVS has been reported as saying: ‘Royal Voluntary Service is incredibly proud to be part of such a wonderful initiative alongside Asda.’ 

    Asda has reportedly found that almost 23% of people are only interacting with just one person a week. Whilst 73% said a conversation with a delivery driver can instantly lift their mood.

    This makes the new badges all the more significant, a sentiment echoed by chief customer officer at Asda, Anna-Maree Shaw.

    According to Metro, Ms. Shaw said: “It’s a challenging time for everyone, especially those experiencing loneliness”. She added that although Asda colleagues “have always made an effort to have a quick chat and raise a smile” they are committed to even more this year.

    “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,” Ms. Shaw affirmed. 

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