Poundland staff in Lowestoft surprise biggest fan Harry with uniform, truck and badge to cheer him up during coronavirus lockdown
A Lowestoft mum has thanked staff at her local Poundland store who organised a special surprise for her autistic son to cheer him up during lockdown.
Melanie Lord said she was 'so touched' when she visited the store in North Quay Retail Park on Tuesday and was handed gifts for her son Harry, who is a well-known visitor to the shop.
"Harry's favourite shop is Poundland and he loves going round and counting up how much everything is going to cost," she said.
"But the pandemic meant that he didn't step foot in the shop in 2020 because we were in lockdown and it just wasn't safe so he's really been missing the shop and seeing everyone."
And staff have obviously been missing him as well.
They organised for the five year old to receive a new Poundland uniform, model truck and colleague of the month badge as a treat.
They also invited him to come in and 'work' for a day once the pandemic is over.
"It absolutely made his day and when I got home and showed him, the uniform went straight on," said Melanie.
"He is so excited about it all and just can't wait to go back to the store when he can."
It's not the first time Poundland-obsessed Harry has been made to feel like part of the team.
After Melanie got in touch with the head office in 2019, he was sent a uniform, truck and name badge as well as some stickers and bunting, which Harry uses to play shops with his three-year-old sister Jessica.
"They've turned their outside playhouse into a little Poundland. They absolutely love it," said Melanie, adding that it was a great way to take their minds off the lockdown.
"I think it's hard for children in general but especially children like Harry to understand it all and get their heads round everything changing.
"He's struggled a bit with not seeing his friends and things so he was delighted to have this surprise."
Harry was mentioned in Channel 4's 'Inside Poundland' and is the only child in the country to own a mini Poundland uniform.
A post on Poundland's Facebook page also named him staff's 'number one colleague'.
"I just want to say thank you so much to everyone at Poundland for making such a lovely gesture to Harry and for thinking about him in this really strange and bizarre time," said Melanie.
"With everything going on, everyone has got a lot going on in their own lives so it means a lot to us and shows there is still kindness in the world.
"It's just a lovely bit of positivity to start 2021 and that's what we've been needing."