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Father's Day: Supermarket employee salutes colleague who became 'father figure'

PUBLISHED: 10:39 15 June 2019 | UPDATED: 11:16 15 June 2019

Lowestoft Asda employee Bev Shipp has saluted her colleague Jeff Drayton, who became a father figure after her father and stepfather died. Picture: Asda

Lowestoft Asda employee Bev Shipp has saluted her colleague Jeff Drayton, who became a father figure after her father and stepfather died. Picture: Asda

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A supermarket employee has expressed gratitude to a colleague for becoming the grandfather her children never had.

Jeff Drayton, from Hopton-on-Sea, made the Britain's Got Talent sem-finals in 2015. Picture: Tom DymondJeff Drayton, from Hopton-on-Sea, made the Britain's Got Talent sem-finals in 2015. Picture: Tom Dymond

Ahead of Father's Day, Jeff Drayton - who works as a handyman at Asda in Lowestoft - has been singled out for praise by the store's community colleague, Bev Shipp.

Ms Shipp, a single mother, was always concerned her children would grow up without a male role model following the death of her own father and stepfather.

But soon after starting a role at Asda ten years ago, one of her new colleagues - Mr Drayton - offered to fix her sons' bikes when they were in their early teens.

Mr Drayton, who has two children and two grandchildren of his own, continued to provide a helping hand with jobs Ms Shipp couldn't manage on her own and became the grandfather her sons never had.

Jeff Drayton became a father figure to Lowestoft Asda colleague Bev Shipp after her father and stepfather died. Picture: AsdaJeff Drayton became a father figure to Lowestoft Asda colleague Bev Shipp after her father and stepfather died. Picture: Asda

"Jeff himself is a brilliant father to his own children and grandchildren, so it's lovely that he has been a father figure to me too," said Ms Shipp. "We have an amazing friendship. He will often just pop in en route home from the store for a coffee and a catch up.

"He has also helped other store colleagues too with bits and pieces that they needed doing. He is just a lovely person and nothing is too much trouble for him."

This Father's Day, Ms Shipp will be sending a special card to Mr Drayton to thank him for all he has done for her family over the years.

Mr Drayton, who has always been one to help and entertain people, charmed audiences on Britain's Got Talent in 2015 with his comedy magic routines involving roller-skating, homemade props and a puppet called Chantel

He and Chantel now visit the children's ward at James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston twice a week, where he entertains the children with balloon models and magic tricks.

"I am only happy to help anyone who needs it," added Mr Drayton, from Hopton-on-Sea. "I am always here to lend a hand - it's no problem."

"I love helping out at the hospital - we have a tremendous laugh. I have a talent which I use to its best advantage and I know I am going to cheer them up."

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