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Life on hold as newly-married Telford pharmacy worker moves into camper van to protect family

By Charlotte Bentley | Donnington | Coronavirus | Published:

An Asda pharmacy worker from Telford has put her married life on hold and moved into a camper van to shield her family while carrying out her key role at the shop.

Kerry's VW camper van has become a temporary home while she works,to protect her family

Kerry Boden, who works in the pharmacy at Asda Donnington Wood, got married to bus driver Keiran Jackson in early March – only six days before her dad Martin passed away from cancer. The coronavirus lockdown began soon after.

Kerry, who is 23 and has worked for Asda since 2014, said: "We found out last October that my dad had cancer so we decided to get married so he could be there with us. He passed away six days afterwards. We were really lucky in one sense and unfortunate in another.

"I had a couple of weeks off work for bereavement and then the lockdown was introduced. I made the decision then to leave our home in Trench because my husband had pneumonia in August last year and was in hospital for a week and on antibiotics for a good couple of months after.

Kerry Boden, 23, from Trench

"We also live with his grandad, Graham, who's 81, and has some health issues, and his mum Diane, 61, who's disabled. With me being a key worker I did not want to put him or the family at any risk.

"People have said to me 'Oh you can just go home, everything will be okay if you go home'. But I know that I have to protect them and my husband as much as I can for our future."

Kerry is also keeping a close eye on her mum, Elaine, so has parked her Volkswagen Transporter camper van outside the boat Elaine lives on 40 miles away in Cheshire and is travelling there every day after work so she can be near to her.

Kerry and Keiran got married earlier this year

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She said: "I'm there for my mum as well. After losing my dad, I'm looking out for her from a distance as I can't be in the boat with her.

"With it just being me the van's quite nice as it's small and compact. I have a little stove which I cook on outside and I've got my iPad so I watch films and stuff at night. It really is just to sleep in.

"Keiran and I got the van last year and it's been the saving grace really – somewhere for me to go."

Kerry began dating Keiran, 24, five years ago. She said: "It's been really hard – it's not been the ideal start to married life. We are always talking on the phone and texting – but seeing each other from a distance is just not the same. I can't wait for it to be all over so we can get back to some sort of normality.

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Kerry with her VW camper van

"Keiran's finding it hard too as we are very outdoorsy people. We like to walk and go cycling. We never got to have a honeymoon. We were booked to go away in South Wales at the end of March, but they shut all the campsites, so that's on hold. It's my birthday in October so we will see what it's like then."

Asda Donnington Wood store manager John Perry has nominated Kerry for an Asda award and says her sacrifices are inspirational.

He said: "She's an absolute credit to our store and we are all proud of her. When I heard about what she is doing, I thought 'wow'. It's phenomenal really what she is putting herself through just to be able to come to work to serve the general public with the medication and drugs they need.

Kerry Boden, 23, from Trench

"She is selflessly staying away from her new husband and not putting her whole family at risk, which shows that not all heroes wear capes!"

The store's community champion, June Walker, says colleagues are all so proud of Kerry.

"I think Kerry putting her newly married life on hold and distancing herself from her family to protect them so that she can continue to help customers at Asda get their much-needed medication is truly amazing," she added.

Charlotte Bentley

By Charlotte Bentley
Community Reporter - @CharlotteB_Star

Community Reporter at the Shropshire Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Shropshire and Mid Wales. Contact me at charlotte.bentley@shropshirestar.co.uk.

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