'I'm absolutely amazed and so touched by the people of Sidmouth'
- Credit: Alex Walton
‘Christmas spirit is very much alive’ was the message shared by Nicky Williams to the residents of Sidmouth after the caring community answered a plea on behalf of her mother-in-law.
Nicky asked for help with delivering groceries to her 89-year-old mother-in-law, Cilla Williams, in time for Christmas on the Sidmouth Community Facebook group.
Nicky had tried to order the shopping from Waitrose but found that there were no delivery slots available and so she turned to Facebook for help.
She posted to the community group: “If I do a click and collect shop, is there any kind soul who could collect it and deliver it to Cilla?”
Nicky, from Winchester, says she was inundated with offers of help from the public and was overwhelmed by the generosity shown.
But it was Waitrose deputy store manager, Alex Hill, who went above and beyond his normal duties.
Alex heard about Nicky’s plight and kindly offered to have a delivery specially made and asked Nicky to send him a shopping list.
But to her further amazement no charge was made for the groceries.
Nicky said: “This is simply the kindest, most generous display of Christmas spirit I have ever witnessed. We will be making a donation to Sidmouth Lifeboat in lieu of payment, a charity very close to my mother-in-law’s heart.”
Cilla wanted to express her own gratitude for the kindness shown to her by the Sidmouth folk and speaking to the Herald, she said: “I’m absolutely amazed and so touched by the people of Sidmouth for their extraordinary response to the request from my daughter-in-law and also for the kindness and the trouble that the manager Alex Hill went to and put into action the very kind thing he did and for his generosity.
“He refused to charge for any of the goods and he just showed such a lovely attitude to Christmas and from his heart. He had given me such a touching experience and I have to admit that I wept.”
Alex Hill said: “Waitrose and John Lewis have focussed on 'Give a Little Love' this year as our Christmas campaign and this felt like a great occasion to give a little love and gift this shopping to Mrs Williams’ mother-in-law.
“I was really pleased to see that Mrs Wiliams has chosen to pay this forward and make a donation to Sidmouth Lifeboat on the back of my gesture.
“All of us at Waitrose have been immensely proud of the support we have been able to give our community this year.”
Nicky is keen to point out that family members do live locally and visit Cilla almost daily but wanted to save them the chore of shopping and to give the great-grandmother of seven the joy of seeing another friendly face at Christmas as interaction is so important to her during these restrictive times.