Granddaughter finds 31-year-old vouchers in old suitcase – and incredibly supermarket agrees to honour them


A GRANDDAUGHTER stumbled across her nan’s old gift tokens dating back to 1988 – and incredibly Sainsbury’s have agreed to honour them.

Beverly Hardy from Ascot, Berkshire discovered her grandmother Mabel Homan’s vouchers whilst clearing out an old suitcase full of photographs last week.

The suitcase had been left untouched for decades before she decided it was time for a clearout with her 91-year-old father Raymond Homan.

After sorting through hundreds of photographs, Beverly, 64, found an envelope at the bottom of the case with Mabel’s address and a postage mark dated 7 December 1988.

When she opened the envelope addressed to Mabel’s then home in Barnet, Hertfordshire she found two £5 vouchers for Sainsbury’s. Adjusted to inflation the vouchers are now worth £26.99 today.

Out of interest, Beverly contacted Sainsbury’s on Facebook asking if she would still be able to use the 31-year-old tokens.

Surprisingly, Sainsbury’s agreed to honour the vouchers and arranged to send Beverly a £10 gift card.

Posting a photograph of the two red and white vouchers, side-by-side, Beverly wrote: “Hi Sainsbury’s I have been sorting through some things and found these vouchers given to my Nan in 1988, they don’t have an expiry date written on them.

“Can I take them into the local Sainsbury’s and spend them? Thank you.”

Sainsbury’s responded: “Thanks Beverly, I’ve arranged for a £10 gift card to be sent to your address to cover the two older vouchers you found.

“This will arrive within the next 3-5 working days. Thanks for taking the time to get in touch.”

The post attracted dozens of comments from surprised social media users praising the supermarket for their response.

Greg Morgan wrote: “I love this story immediately. Fair play to Sainsbury’s for doing this.”

Amy Bickerdyke said: “Bravo, Sainsbury’s!”

Ian Rae wrote: “They’re in bloody good nick for being over 30 years old. Nice touch by Sainsbury’s.”

And Charlotte Joanne said: “This is very sweet.”

Speaking today, Beverly said: “My dad had a suitcase full of pictures and I said we need to start sorting through some items.

“I said to keep the good photographs. So we were sorting through the case and they were just lying there right at the bottom.

“They were just lying there amongst so many photographs. There were pictures of me as a baby.

“I just put it out there for a bit of history and out of interest. It was a bit of a sarcastic comment and I wasn’t expecting anything.”

The vouchers were awarded through the Henry Smith Charity who granted money to a number of parishes throughout the country to give to people around Christmas time.

Mabel died in 1989 aged 84 after previously suffering a number of strokes.

In 1988 when Mabel received the vouchers, the first Red Nose Day was held and and pound note was withdrawn from circulation in England.

This was also the year of the Lockerbie air disaster – which claimed 270 lives – and the Piper Alpha disaster which took 167 oil rig workers.

In 2017, it was reported that an estimated £6 million is lost on vouchers each week in the UK, according to industry trade body the UK Gift Card & Voucher Association (UKGCVA)

Collectively, this amounted to around £300 million each year as 10% of those in circulation get lost or simply get forgotten about.

However, the a 2019 report from UK GCVA revealed that more people are spending their gift cards quicker than ever before.

The organisation revealed that last year 98.6% of UK shoppers spend their gift cards within a year and 50.3% redeem them within a month of receipt.

The most common time period for gift cards is 24-months.

Gail Cohen, director general of the UK Gift Card and Voucher Association, said on Wednesday: “The UKGCVA works closely with all of its members to ensure that consumers have the best possible experience when redeeming their gift cards or vouchers.

“Retailers always want to ensure that their customers are able to fully enjoy their vouchers and will be happy to assist wherever possible, so it’s always worth consumers getting in touch if they ever need any help or additional advice.

“That said, gift cards and vouchers are there to be enjoyed and we would always recommend that consumers ‘use it, not lose it’, and either register or redeem their gift card or voucher as soon as they receive it.

“More and more gift cards and vouchers can now be spent online as well as in-store, offering shoppers flexibility in when, where and how they spend their gift cards or vouchers and meaning that they can – and should – be used and enjoyed straightaway”.

Sainsbury’s declined to comment.

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