Asda Northern Ireland delivery drivers wear ‘Happy to Chat about the game’ badges to help tackle loneliness during summer of sport

Ahead of the busy sports calendar this summer, Asda has relaunched it’s ‘Happy to Chat’ initiative, which offers its delivery drivers in NI the option to add a ‘Happy to Chat about the game’ badge to their uniform to let customers know they’re happy to have a quick chat with them whilst their shopping is being delivered.

The ‘Happy to Chat’ initiative first launched as a trial in conjunction with the Royal Voluntary Service, after it was recognised that the drivers formed a lifeline for some people throughout the covid pandemic, with almost a quarter (23%) of customers admitting they were only interacting with people once a week – many of whom were delivery drivers.

The retailer’s Community Tracker, which looks at how customers, community groups and colleagues want to support their local communities, revealed that 60% of people surveyed think more needs to be done to combat loneliness and social isolation, with the elderly called out as the group most in need of support.

To encourage conversation and interaction amongst its older customer base, the Happy to Chat scheme has re-launched as part of Asda’s wider campaign across the Summer, which aims to unite all ages, especially those who love sport whether it’s football, tennis or cricket.

Asda store and grocery home shopping colleagues will have the option to wear ‘Happy to Chat about the game’ badges, prompting any customers who fancy a natter to chat to colleagues about the score or the upcoming game while getting their groceries.

Jason Bonny, Delivery Driver at Asda Portadown said:

“When we initially launched the Happy to Chat badges to combat isolation during the pandemic we had such a positive response, especially from our older customers. I’m really pleased we have a twist on the badges so we can kick off a conversation whether that’s about the game or just to ask them how they are. I know from experience that even just having a few minutes chat with someone whilst you’re delivering their shopping can have a such a positive impact on their day.”

David Hills, Asda’s Chief Customer Officer said:

“We first trialled the Happy to Chat badges as part of the Covid pandemic in 2000 and quickly made them a permanent fixture for our drivers’ to wear. This summer, we want to ensure we are keeping the conversations going with our older customers, especially as one of our drivers maybe the only person they interact with that day. This badge is a symbol of our colleagues continued friendly and approachable service which can make such a difference to those that don’t have much contact with others. 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 summer.”