David Tillyer Image copyright David Tillyer
Image caption David Tillyer said acts of kindness towards NHS staff made them feel appreciated

A “humbled and emotional” paramedic has thanked a stranger who paid for his shopping and customers who applauded him at a supermarket.

People queuing outside Lidl in Cromer, Norfolk, made way for David Tillyer – who had just finished a night shift – “with applause and thank-yous”.

He said a woman who “ran up and swiped her card” as he went to pay told him: “Not much you can do to stop me”.

His thank-you on Facebook has been shared 78,000 times.

“I am humbled and a bit emotional,” wrote Mr Hillyer, who works for the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAS)

“Thank you to the lady that did that and thank you to all the shoppers that made me feel special after a tough run of shifts #NHSandProud #stayhome #covidkindness.”

Speaking to the BBC, he said he had just finished a 12-hour shift and was about to join the end of the queue waiting for Lidl to open when the young couple in front of him let him go ahead.

“About two-thirds of the way through the queue someone said ‘let’s give him a round of applause’, and people started clapping and saying thank you.

“It was really heart-warming to know that people out there really respect what we do and are grateful to everyone on the frontline of the NHS for what we’re doing at the moment.”

He praised the “amazing, kind gesture” from the woman who ran to the till to pay for his shopping.

“When he gets these acts of kindness – and there have been so many recently – and it really makes us feel appreciated.”

EEAS said it was “extremely appreciative of the fantastic public support” shown to NHS workers.

“Our staff and volunteers are working around the clock to ensure the public are safe and cared for, so it is particularly heartening to see this widespread recognition of our collective efforts.”

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