NHS paramedic receives round of applause while out shopping

Hero paramedic, 35, is greeted with round of applause during visit to Lidl while customer pays for his £25 shop after finishing 12-hour shift on coronavirus frontline

  • David Tillyer had finished a 12-hour shift as a paramedic dealing with Covid-19
  • The 35-year-old from Norfolk went shopping in Lidl after his overnight shift 
  • Shoppers paid for his food and have him a round of applause for his service
  • Mr Tillyer said the 20 people in front of him let him jump to the top of the queue 

A paramedic received a standing ovation and had his weekly shop paid for by kind customers at a supermarket, after he finished a 12-hour night shift helping coronavirus patients

David Tillyer, 35, says he was ‘touched’ by the good deed from shoppers at Lidl in Cromer, Norfolk, which he visited at 8am Wednesday.

The paramedic, who lives in nearby Aylsham, had stopped off at the store in his uniform to pick up some essentials, after having to eat only a pot noodle for dinner because of reduced opening hours at 24-hour shops.

Paramedic David Tillyer, 35, received a standing ovation after he completed a 12-hour shift and went to his local Lidl store to pick up basic groceries 

He said shoppers allowed him to get to the front of the queue and one generous woman even paid for his £25 shop with her bank card at the Lidl store in Cromer, Norfolk

When he arrived at the store, almost 20 people queuing up outside let him go straight to the front and gave him a round of applause, before a generous woman paid for his £25 shop with her bank card.

Mr Tillyer said: ‘The Lidl is just across from the ambulance station and had just opened, following my shift.

‘I normally don’t go in there in my uniform, but I needed some essentials because the 24-hour Tesco I normally go to is currently on reduced hours.

‘I’d had to have a pot noodle for my lunch because I had nothing in so I was just getting some milk, eggs and groceries.

‘As I walked to the queue, a young couple saw my uniform and let me go ahead and then another person told me to go in front of them and suddenly one by one they let me go to all the way to the front.

‘Then another customer shouted, “give him a round of applause” and they all started clapping.

‘I think I turned a bright shade of red as it was very heart-warming.

‘I am proud of my job and the organisation that I work with but sometimes we get a bashing from people and this kind act just reminded me that the general public value what we do.’

Touched, but slightly embarrassed, Mr Tillyer headed inside the store and picked up his groceries.

When he reached the queue for the tills, he found the young couple from outside who let him in front of them once again.

He had begun chatting to a middle-aged woman also queueing and as he was about to pay she came over and tapped her debit card on the card reader, paying for his £25 shop using contactless.

He said: ‘I was putting my hand in my pocked to get my wallet when the lady came forward and tapped her card on the card reader.

‘It didn’t go through the first time and I tried to stop her, but she did it again and it worked.

Mr Tillyer, pictured, said he was stunned by the reaction his uniform provoked while shopping

‘Then she smiled and said, “now you can’t stop me.”‘I was shocked and embarrassed, but I had a big smile on my face as I walked back to the car and I was grinning to myself.

‘I felt I had to say something straight away before I went to bed and I shared what had happened on Facebook straightaway.

‘I was in shock and a bit emotional.

‘It touched me and it resonated with me from an emotional point of view that what I do means a lot to people and that paramedics are respected and valued.’

Mr Tillyer awoke the next day to over 150 text messages and more than 100 Facebook friend requests after his post went viral overnight.

It has now racked up almost 200,000 likes on Facebook and been shared 70,000 times and he has received messages of support from thousands of people.

He said: ‘I’m quite a private person, but it has been nice to see that so many people share the same sentiment expressed by the people in the store.

‘There has been some negativity though – some people believe that it was irresponsible going to a supermarket in uniform after work from an infections point of view.

‘But I know that my uniform was clean and I have multiple changes of uniform in case I need to get changed.

‘My job hasn’t got any more challenging yet because of Covid-19, but there has been an adjustment.

‘I think people understand the pressures we are under because of the virus.’


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