The large market town of Doncaster, in South Yorkshire, is home to three Amazon fulfilment centres, LBA1, LBA2 and LBA3; all named after the nearest international airport, Leeds Bradford.
LBA1 opened in 2010 at the size of six and a half football pitches and holds a mixture of small and large products, everything from pillows to dog food can be found there.
Andrew Kirkby, joined the LBA1 team as a fulfilment centre picker in 2011, not long after the site first opened. When a customer places an order, Andrew is responsible for locating the items, picking them from the shelves and sending them on to be packed for shipping.
As part of a programme called ‘I Found the Right Place’ Amazon invited employees from fulfilment centres across the UK to explain what they like best about working at Amazon and why it is the right place for them. More than 800 employees from across the UK and dozens from each site put pen to paper.
“Amazon is the right place for me because I have made new friends who feel like family, we help each other through times of need. Everyone at LBA1 helped me so much through a difficult time and I cannot thank them enough,” wrote Andrew in his entry.
All of the entries were anonymised and the best entry from each fulfilment centre was chosen. The chosen employees were invited on an all-expenses-paid trip to Seattle, U.S., to explore the Amazon head office and see where it all started.
"When I found out I was going to Seattle I was absolutely shocked! I couldn't believe something like this could happen to me. I spent the next few days celebrating!" Said Andrew.
During the five-day trip to Seattle, Andrew and Amazon colleagues from sites across the UK were shown around the city and enjoyed a trip up the Space Needle. They also went on a tour of the Amazon campus and the robotics fulfilment centre in Kent, Washington, where they met Amazon’s Chief Scientist.
“I loved the whole trip, meeting new people and getting the chance to see the Space Needle was amazing. Visiting the Amazon head office was also a really big deal for me,” said Andrew.