A porter at an Asda branch in Blackburn has been praised by customers for going above and beyond for helping customers.

Evan Donlan, from the Galligreaves area of Blackburn, has worked in the store for 25 years and clocks up about 60 miles a week walking around the store and car park.

His hard-working and friendly nature hasn’t been missed by some regular shoppers at the shop.

Val Sherwood has been shopping at the Blackburn store every week for the last 20 years and has struck up a great relationship with porter Evan Donlan, who always helps her around the store.

Val says she'd be lost without Evan, who picks items from the shelves, helps her through the checkouts and loads her bags into her car.

Lancashire Telegraph: Val Sherwood and Evan DonlanVal Sherwood and Evan Donlan

Val, who uses one of the store's motorised trolleys, said: "Twenty years Evan has been helping me with my shopping and nothing is too much trouble for him. We always have a good chat too."

Her comments were echoed by regular customer Paul Elliot, who said: "I live on my own and Evan always goes out of his way to come over and have a chat. It's nice because Evan and the Asda colleagues are sometimes the only people I speak to all week."

Another customer, Elizabeth Hope, said: "Evan's always here to help load up our car when we've been shopping."

Marjorie Best said: "Evan always offers great service when I bring my mum shopping."

The 60-year-old has been nominated for an Asda customer service award for his excellent service.

He said: "It's all part of our job. I'm 60 now and in ten years’ time I may need some help.

“I just love to help anybody and everybody and that's always been the case, and will always will be.

“You tend to get to know your customers inside out and they become your friends. It's the best job around.

"Helping people just comes naturally, you don't need training in that. I help our customers with their shopping and take groceries and items to their cars for them; nothing is too much trouble. It's very rewarding.

"With Val I go round the shop with her while she's in her electric cart, and basically do the shop for her. Then I get her through checkouts and then take her over to the car and load the car for her.

"We do have our regular customers and I wait to see them coming in and I won't have my break until they've gone away and are happy."

Evan says he loves having chats with his customers.

"The secret is remembering the last conversation you have with that customer," he said. "They might have been going somewhere or doing something. It's always a nice icebreaker to start the conversation off again.

"For some customers it's their day out. We might be the only person they see that week, so having a chat with them is invaluable especially if it makes them happy. We are always there for a laugh and a chat. Making the customer smile is what it's all about.

"I like to go home knowing I've done everything in my power that I could have possibly done that day. Porters are the first and last people that customers see at the store so if you're friendly and helpful that's the impression they will take away with them."

Evan, who has a partner, Lynne, and a 28-year-old daughter Rachel, says he's "very proud and excited" to have been nominated for an Asda service superstar award but says he dedicates it to the whole team at Blackburn.

He said: "We are all one big team here, and I'm proud to be part of it."

Anne Howarth, the store's customer trading manager, says Evan is a special person who's liked by everyone.

She said: "Evan always goes out of his way to ensure every customer he speaks to is greeted with a friendly smile, a "How are you?" or a little chat about what is going on in Blackburn or in the customer's life.

"He's got to know all our regular customers over the years and we are often told that Evan is the reason they continue to shop with us. When people talk about Asda Blackburn, they talk about Evan. He is so popular. He's got a very positive attitude and will do anything for anyone.

"The car park is always spot on and Evan ensures the other porters are trained and coached to his standards and he has a great relationship with all the colleagues in store too."

The store's community champion Lynne Kozlowski said: "Evan's such a lovely, cheerful guy who will do anything for anyone. If he sees a customer struggling at all he will always help them out."

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