FIRST EASTERN COUNTIES BUS DRIVER NAMED IN QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY HONOURS
FIRST EASTERN COUNTIES BUS DRIVER NAMED IN QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY HONOURS FOR SUPPORTING AND COOKING MEALS FOR HIS WORK COLLEAGUES DURING LOCKDOWN
Simon Taylor who is a bus driver in Great Yarmouth has been named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his dedication and commitment in supporting his colleagues by cooking meals and taking them into the workplace during the early months of lockdown.
As Covid hit and safety measures were introduced, canteens closed which meant his colleagues didn’t have access to a hot meal. Simon wanted to help and discussed his idea with Chris Speed, Head of Operations at First Eastern Counties who agreed to the plan in providing meals, free of charge to Simons colleagues in the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft bus depots.
Simon realised that before he started cooking, he wanted to make sure that he had covered all bases to be able to succeed. Simon enrolled himself, at his own cost, on a Food & Hygiene Diploma Course, which he passed with flying colours, acquiring his ‘chef’s hat’ and, with the Company’s help, he bought large industrial cooking utensils and pots.
On his day off he set himself the task to prepare 80 meals of curry – both chicken and vegetarian options with rice. When he delivered these to the depots one of the members of staff liked it so much, he wanted to provide a donation.
Simon then set up a ‘JustGiving’ page for donations to the local air ambulance service, who had helped several members of staff and their families in the past. Simon shared his ‘JustGiving’ page on social media where other people have thanked him, wished him well and sent in donations.
The 80 meals were prepared and enjoyed by the staff all within a day which was a great success. Simon then decided to survey staff on what they would like on his next day off. Simon has continued to cook meals on his days off and has expanded his menu to include, along with his curry & rice, chilli, tuna pasta bakes and also hunters chicken.
Simon said” I’m always looking at ways to help the staff I work with and promote what a great job we all do as key workers providing bus services to our local communities”.
Steve Wickers, Managing Director at First Eastern Counties said;” We are all very proud of Simon and the effort he has put in to support his colleagues. The award he has received shows great recognition for his dedication, commitment and motivation to keep everyone focused and positive whist we work through these unprecedented times”.