Mick White added 40 new customers to his milk round during the Coronavirus lockdown, and every single one of them has stuck by him.
“I was due to retire this year but couldn’t bring myself to do it. I don’t want to let the elderly and vulnerable in my community down.”
He and wife Vicky stepped in to help when supermarkets began running out of essential supplies at the beginning of the pandemic, and the rural communities of Denbighshire and Flintshire won’t forget it.
Mick had planned to put his feet up after almost 50 years delivering milk and eggs to the people of Llanferres, Gwernymynydd, Maeshafn, Llanarmon-yn-Ial and the surrounding areas.
Now 70, the Wakefield-born dad-of-two plans to carry on for as long as is necessary.
Here’s Mick to tell us why: “When the supermarkets began running out of milk and eggs, that’s when the phone started ringing and there was a lot of demand from new customers.
“We had around 190 people on our round at the start of this, and it’s probably up to 230 now. They don’t have milk and eggs every single day – it would be impossible to get around everyone – but most people do during the week.
“A lot of the concern was from elderly residents who were frightened to go out and panicked when the shops were empty, so I’m glad we’ve been able to support them.
“I fully expected it to drop off when things started to open up again, but they’ve all stuck with us and have embraced this new way of shopping locally, which is fantastic to see.
“We haven’t lost a single customer.”
With two young grandsons, the Liverpool FC-supporting pensioner cares about only one thing in the months ahead – being there for the elderly in his community.
“There’s no sign of me slowing down,” said Mick.
“I was going to retire this year but with all of this happening I just can’t let the old people down.
“We’ve taken on as much as we can and are looking at the situation day by day. If either of us got ill the business would close overnight so we’re carrying on as safely as possible and taking care of ourselves, as well as our loyal customers.
“We thank them for their support and will always be here for them.”
Mick’s incredible, caring attitude was praised by the organisers of Taste North East Wales, which takes place virtually this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Robyn Lovelock, one of the coordinators, said they are encouraging people to swap from supermarket purchases to local milk, chocolate and cheese products to help the struggling regional dairy industry, as well as other items including preserves, sauce, gin, beer and cakes.
Taste North East Wales has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.