Swansea Bus Driver Keith Takes Silver at Prestigious UK Bus Awards
Swansea bus driver Keith Thomas took the silver at the UK Bus Awards in London yesterday in the Top National Bus Driver category. He fought off competition from tens of thousands of bus drivers nationwide to take the silver gong.
The 58 year-old Swansea grandfather of 5, who works at First Cymru was also crowned National Driver at the Welsh Transport Awards earlier this month.
Keith was given a stoma in a life-changing operation back in 2012, and the next year he became a bus driver; since then he has championed raising awareness about the condition, and about hidden disabilities. Keith spends most of his spare time dedicated to fundraising for many different charities.
Andrew Sherrington, Managing Director for First Cymru said: "Keith uses every opportunity to show what he calls his designer ‘bag for life’ in order to challenge taboos. In the recent Rugby World Cup he had a special stoma bag cover proudly displaying the Welsh flag which he shared with his 3,100 followers on his twitter account @keiththom2014. His fundraising achievements include climbing South Wales’ highest mountain and walking 5K every week for a year. His unique blend of positivity, advocacy and fundraising makes him very special. We’re all really proud."
This time 7 years ago I was so ill that going to London would have been impossible for me to do. To be at the UK Bus awards yesterday and take the silver award for top National bus driver is mind blowing and such an honour. Thanks to First Cymru for my nomination, all my colleagues for their fantastic support, and my passengers who provide me with job satisfaction every day.
The Top National Bus Driver award, sponsored by Volvo Bus, recognises outstanding achievements in delivering exceptional customer service as well as driving buses safely and considerately.
Mark Yexley, Chairman of the UK Bus Awards, said: "A huge congratulations to Keith, the judges were so impressed with his fabulous attitude and friendly, out-going personality. His fundraising activity is also admirable, he is making a real difference in the local and wider community highlighting some very significant issues that affect many people."
He added: "Every year we are taken aback by the sheer commitment and dedication bus drivers have for the communities that they work in. We hear more and more about loneliness and social exclusion within our towns and cities and drivers all over the country are helping to keep people connected and helping individuals feel included and valued. Our bus drivers are true heroes within these communities, and we are honoured to be able to recognise their outstanding achievements."