How The Staff At Marks and Spencer Saved My Grandmother

In this week’s post, I wanted to talk about how the staff at a particular Marks and Spencer’s store have helped my Grandmother aka Mamgu to cope after the loss of my Granddad (Tadcu) 3 years ago. With a marriage of over 50 years taken away so abruptly, my Mamgu was lost, depressed and heartbroken.

She struggled to know where to turn and this is where the wonderful staff at M&S Cuverhouse Cross, Cardiff essentially saved her and provided her with a positive distraction.

Some time after the passing of my Tadcu, my Mamgu began going to the Deli at M&S. It was one of the few places she hadn’t been with my Tadcu and so it wasn’t met with such painful memories.

Initially we were going to put out a simple tweet to give recognition to the Marks and Spencer staff at Culver, however, with something that has brought so much happiness, especially during tear-filled times, the least they deserved was a little something to show just how much they’ve helped.

Whilst we really want to show a tremendous amount of appreciation and thanks to a big group of them who’ve helped her massively including Jo, Heather, Liz, Jamie, Brad, Becky, Josh and Andrew, we wanted to give special thanks to these three lovely lot.

Thank you to Robert who constantly greets you with a great big smile on his face. Throughout the 3/4 years, he has been excellent to my Mamgu from the time he took the time to sit down and warn her about a telephone scam going around at the time that was targeting women of her age to bringing gifts home for her from his holidays. He’s also taken to nicknaming her, which just shows the level of friendship there. Say no more – a famous saying of his!

Secondly is Sarah, who has consistently been friendly and has always been there for a chat and has repeatedly tried her very best to make my grandmother feel better on her bad days. On one occasion when my Mamgu was ill with a sore throat Sarah deivered some soup over to her at the house. It’s comforting for to know that incredible people like her are still around, we need more of them!

Ever since Sarah was moved to the cafe she has made efforts through text to meet up with my Mamgu for a chat and coffee. Many a time she’s bought flowers and plants for her and the one time it happened to be the anniversary of my Tadcu’s passing and it really did make her day.

Debbie is another special lady who has remained friendly and caring towards my Mamgu throughout. Recently, after the news of the closing, she bought a card with a special message in it thanking my Mamgu and also a gift for her. Last year, she kept spirits high when she was responsible for selling biscuits leading up to the Christmas period – a particularly challenging time for Mamgu. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing these funny tales being relayed back to us by my Mamgu.

It’s the little things that have been done for her over the years. It’s the little things like when they’d see her park up her car and they’d get her usual of an “extra hot, skinny latte” ready and her favourite news paper set up on the table for her. It’s the little things like being there to chat to when times were hard.

It’s the little things like asking where’s she’s been if she’s been absent for a couple of days. It’s the little things like making a fuss on her birthday by giving cards and presents signed off the staff and the little slice of cake they gave her with a single candle on it. It’s the little things like them being adamant that she goes to their leavers party, and I stress the word adamant here, they wouldn’t take no for an answer.

This is what my Mamgu wanted to say – “Thank you all so very much for helping me cope after losing my husband and being there for me. I’ve been really spoilt by the staff at the Deli.”

None of what they’ve done over the years has been because it’s their job, nor has it been because they’re paid to do it. They’ve done it because they’re good people. Insanely kind-hearted and caring people should I say.

They’ve provided a safe and happy place for her to go to and a positive distraction from her heartbreak of losing my Tadcu.

As her family, I don’t think we can thank them all enough. I know I’ll definitely miss hearing the heart-warming, weekly update of all the good that’s been done for her by the staff at the Deli.

So, thank you from the bottom of our hearts to the staff at the Deli, Marks and Spencer’s Culverhouse Cross (Cardiff). You’ve massively impacted not just my Mamgu’s life but all of us. It’s been lovely to hear such positive and kind things said about each and every one of you.

*** I am sad to say Mamgu passed away on the 16th of October 2020. The loss is huge to the family and her friends, we will miss her dearly.

Ciao for now x

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Wellbeing writer, host for The Inspired Narrative podcast and mental health support worker.