A kind-hearted gesture from a Morrisons' employee towards an elderly widow has gone viral on Facebook.
Sophie Leanne Garrett was in the Starbeck supermarket last night when she witnessed the heartwarming exchange between the staff member and the customer.
She posted that the elderly woman had joked that the employee had shared a "tender moment" with his colleague when they shared a hug behind the counter.
Not wanting her to feel left out, the staff member promptly made his way round to the side of the counter to hand out another hug to her.
To his surprise, the elderly woman explained that her husband had passed away four years ago and she had nobody left to give her a hug.
The news prompted the kind-hearted employee to give her another touching embrace to which, Sophie recounts, "made the lady's day".
Sophie recounted the tale on Facebook and, within hours, the post had received hundreds of likes with many searching for staff member's identity.
Through the power of social media, Sophie had discovered that 27-year-old bakery manager Ashley Durrell was in fact the mystery employee.
Ashley said that he was still in work when news of the Facebook post reached him and was shocked to discover the outpouring of emotion.
He said: "I was leaving my department for my half an hour break when I saw that my colleague was a bit rushed. I went into their department and said if you need any help just give me a me a call.
"Then I put my arm around him and gave him a little hug and the woman asked if we were having a little tender moment and said we have to share the love.
"That really made me laugh but then she said that she had nobody to give me a hug. So I went across the counter and said there you go my darling
"That's when she told us that it had been four years since my husband. I had stopped hugging her by this point so I said in that case you can have another one."
Ashley said that his heart "melted" at the customer's story and was thrilled to have made her day.
"It's part and parcel of good customer service. The customer always comes first, that's what I believe as a manager," Ashley said.
"I was working my shift so I only found out about the Facebook post at 9. My manager came in and said have you been hugging people again?
"I couldn't believe the reaction to it but that's just the sort of person I am. I know we've got a job to do but I like taking the time to speak to people.
"It's just taking that extra minute with people. It costs nothing to be polite; that's how I was brought up."
Sophie contacted Morrisons on Facebook to tell them of Ashley's good deed who were delighted by the news.
They said: "Hi Sophie, thanks for the post and taking the time to feedback. I'll contact the Duty Manager and pass your comments on and also drop the Store Manager an email.
"I'm sure they'll be able to identify the employee between them so they can share with him and I'm sure a little recognition will be heading his way."