An inspirational little boy who has autism has landed himself a job in a Dronfield store.
Thomas Jackson, aged six, of Dronfield Woodhouse, has been given an early Christmas present with a job at Pets at Home on Sheffield Road - and he even has his own special one-off uniform.
The youngster, nicknamed ‘Mr Five’, who has high functioning autism, has had a desire to help out the colleagues in the store for more than six months, visiting up to 12 times every week.
He helps with opening and closing the automatic doors at close, bringing in marketing material, tidying up the shelves and feeding the in-store fish.
Thomas’s dad, Roy, said: “The Pets at Home Dronfield team has been fantastic with Mr Five from day one, they have always engaged with him on store visits and really made him feel like part of the team. Being able to assist with some staff duties gives his visits a sense of purpose and gives him a sense of responsibility.
“Since he has been ‘in charge’ of the marketing we have only missed one day and even then he insisted on ringing in sick.
“Mr Five finds interacting with others more difficult than a typical youngster, however Pets at Home seems to be a safe place for him and he really opens up to the staff and chats away with them which is lovely for us to see.”
Thomas even visited a number of other stores to ask questions about the animals, warehouse and his favourite topics of the automatic doors and burglar alarms to extend his knowledge further.
Roy added: “Visiting shops can be daunting for Mr Five but Pets at Home have been second to none in our experience.”
Peter Pritchard, CEO of retail at Pets at Home, said: “When Roy approached us to tell us Mr Five’s story we knew we had to reward his hard work and make him an official member of the Dronfield team by presenting him with his very own uniform.
“Our colleagues are the heartbeat of our company and we are extremely proud of our exceptional Dronfield store team who are a credit to themselves and to Pets at Home.”
Video courtesy of BBC Radio Sheffield journalist Oli Constable.