Keeping Christmas Kind: Shop workers and families speak out about abuse in moving Christmas campaign

The short film features real people who have put themselves at risk working in essential shops, keeping families fed and providing vital human interaction for so many people who have been alone this year

female shop keeper smiling to the camera for the keep christmas kind appeal

“I worry about Sammie most days when she goes to work, she had a flare pulled out on her recently, it’s so scary.”

“My dad’s had beer thrown at his face and has been physically assaulted, it’s not okay.”

“My mum is just trying to do her job. I’m worried about her safety.”

These are the testaments from the families of three shop workers who have spoken out about the abuse their loved ones have faced during the pandemic as part of a moving Christmas campaign titled #KeepingChristmasKind.

The film features real people who have put themselves at risk working in essential shops, keeping families fed and providing vital human interaction for so many people who have been alone at home for much of the year.

Those on the festive frontline should not bear brunt of shoppers’ frustrations
Enzo Riglia, Business Crime lead for Hampshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Michael Lane, said:

“With the current lockdown ending and just a few weeks left until Christmas, we are likely to see last-minute shopping sprees, and there is a concern that those on our festive frontline could bear the brunt of some shoppers’ frustrations about wearing masks and distancing measures, leading to more abuse and assaults.

“This is not acceptable at any time of the year, but as we come to the end of what has been a truly challenging year for all of us we want to help raise awareness of the abuse shop workers have faced and encourage others to show some kindness towards those on the festive frontline this Christmas.”

Real world stories
The campaign film features Mrs Paleja (pictured above), who has been the owner of a small newsagents for the last 32 years with her husband who recently was diagnosed with dementia. She is now a full-time carer whilst also managing the running of her much-loved family business.

In the film, her daughter Mita describes her mother as a superwoman and tells of the abuse she has faced during the pandemic: 

“My mum is just trying to do her job. She has been threatened with a knife, verbally abused and pushed. She fractured her wrist as a result of that. I’m worried about her safety.

“Please consider to be kind this Christmas, there is a family behind every business.”

According to retail trade union Usdaw, every minute of the working day during the pandemic a shopworker nationally has been verbally abused, threatened with violence or physically attacked.


News shared from the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Michael Lane. Ed

Monday, 30th November, 2020 11:57am

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Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Police, Top story

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4 Comments on "Keeping Christmas Kind: Shop workers and families speak out about abuse in moving Christmas campaign"

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YJC
No one should suffer verbal or physical abuse when just doing their job but that also works the other way too. I’m absolutely fed up of the abruptness of staff in supermarkets. Obviously not all of them, but Morrisons staff have been terrible (prior to this lockdown), and one in ASDA last Friday. Totally understand that everyone is under a lot of pressure these days but they… Read more »
Tamara

I have found the supermarket staff in Morrison’s and Aldi at Lake to be surprisingly relaxed and friendly during this pandemic. That’s why I choose to shop there. It can’t be easy for them, being in contact with so many customers. I’m glad they have to wear a mask now. Not many did until eventually it was made compulsory, putting them and shoppers at unnecessary risk.

Mark L Francis

My wife heard a security guard whining to a customer about immigrants & asylum seekers overwhelming the NHS. She called him a racist & he threatened to eject her physically. I informed him that he would not. Turned out that he was a British-born Pakistani whereas my wife is from Pakistan.

melting

I am happy to say that I always find the staff in all the shops I go to polite and helpful. This has improved over the years–perhaps it is because I have become ” a little old lady” !