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Iceland store

Two Iceland store managers who were among the first to introduce a ‘silver hour’ for elderly shoppers in the pandemic have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Casey Abbott and Daniel Burke used their initiative in opening an hour early for elderly shoppers in March last year. Abbott began opening his Food Warehouse store in Thanet, Kent, at 7am instead of 8am on Wednesdays. Burke started opening his West Belfast Iceland store at 8am instead of 9am, also on Wednesdays.

Iceland commended the pair at the time, and encouraged other store managers to also dedicate extra time to the elderly. It came during the height of panic buying, when shelves were stripped bare as quickly as they could be stocked, causing concern over access to food for the elderly.

Both Abbott and Burke were made Medallists of the Order of the British Empire for services to retail in the Queen’s Birthday Honours on Friday (11 June).

“We have seen many heroic acts from colleagues serving their communities throughout the pandemic,” said Iceland MD Richard Walker in a tweet at the weekend.

“Special congratulations to store managers Casey Abbott and Daniel Burke for being awarded the Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.”

Elsewhere in the awards, two Sainsbury’s customers experience assistants, James Beardwell and Rosemary Hull, were also made Medallists of the Order of the British Empire, for services to food supply chain during Covid-19 and services to business respectively.

Defra director general for food, farming and biosecurity, David Kennedy, was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath for “public service particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic”.

As reported by The Grocer earlier today, food redistribution charity FareShare also picked up a raft of awards.

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