People are always surprised to hear I’ve been with Morrisons for 25 years, they say things like “Wow, well done John” and “That’s fantastic”. It makes me feel very proud. Staff I meet within Morrisons are always surprised at how long I have worked there too.

Before working at Morrisons, I used to go to Upsall Hall which was a rural day centre, I enjoyed it there. I helped to make bread and cakes at the centre, which were then sold on to customers that visited the centre. This made me think I could do something that I enjoy doing and maybe get paid at the same time. So, when a Mencap employment officer approached me about paid work I thought this was a good idea.

It started with a work experience placement at first, I can still remember walking into the shop. I felt very happy and wondered what my first job was going to be. When I first joined, I worked on the salad bar and then on sandwiches. I also do some work in the café too. The job has given me so such more confidence. I feel part of the staff team and I’ve got to know a lot of the staff. The best thing is that I receive my very own salary every four weeks and I receive bonuses, this have given me a lot more independence.

I tell new starters first of all that we are all friendly in the team, I ask them if they are ok, if I notice that people seem to be nervous. I show them where everything they need is and I help to answer any questions they have. I think it is important to make people feel welcome and at ease because I remember how important it was for me when I first started.

Working gives me a real sense of purpose and stops me from being bored. I feel part of the staff team and I’ve got to know a lot of the staff who work in the other parts of the shop. Also, I know quite a few people who come to the shop. I used to be quite shy, but now because I have daily contact with new people it has really helped my confidence.

For my 25 years of service I am getting an award. I have already been given £500 in points, and have been invited to a hotel in Scotland where I’ll be presented with my long service award.

I would like to keep working at Morrisons until I retire.