Autistic boy given special job at Portsmouth Asda after being helping hand around the store

AN autistic boy has overcome his anxiety of big shops to become an honorary colleague at the Asda in Portsmouth.

Thursday, 6th June 2019, 12:43 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th June 2019, 3:24 pm
Finley with colleagues Sarah Twine and Dani Dean at Asda in Portsmouth. Picture: Robin Jones/ Digital South

Finley Bushnell, 13, has proved to be a huge help at the supermarket in the Bridge Shopping Centre in Fratton. 

The industrious teenager has taken to lending a helping hand around the store, including putting the Scan & Go handsets back in their right slot, during his family’s weekly shopping trips. 

Finley, who has autisim, has proved to be so helpful around the supermarket that he has been made an honorary colleague by staff and has even been given his own name tag. 

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The 13-year-old used to get anxious in big shops but since his aunt Sarah, who works at the Asda in Fratton, encouraged him to help out he has loved visiting the store. 

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Katie Bushnell, Finley’s mother, said: ‘The colleagues are great with him – they all greet him when he comes in. He says he wants to be a manager at Asda when he grows up.

‘He loves keeping busy and knowing that he’s helping people. They’ve even given him his own name badge and lanyard.’

Katie normally takes Finley with her on her shopping trips to the Fratton Asda at least twice a week, along with his sister and grandmother.

On one of these visits to the store, Finley’s aunt Sarah a checkout section leader, enlisted him to hold one of the queue buster signs and he has been been helping out at the store ever since.

His favourite activity is putting the used Scan & Go handsets back in their slots, but he also loves collecting baskets and replacing products on the shelves.

Dean Glasspool, general manager of Asda Portsmouth, said: ‘Finley really enjoys doing little bits and pieces to help us out and you can see he's increased in confidence since doing so.

‘I know he wants to work for the store when he's older and hopefully we'll be able to help him achieve that. He's a happy, cheerful lad and he really looks forward to his visits to the store.’