When local resident Irene Home of Beryhill Village rode her mobility scooter into Hanley just before Christmas, she didn’t think she would end up by being offered a piggy back by a local shopkeeper as he rescued her from a watery predicament.
Mrs Home had left her house in nice weather when she found herself stranded in a deeper-than-expected puddle as she made her way through a footpath. Being a mobility scooter user, Irene was well and truly stuck. A young lady managed to push her to the side of the puddle but the scooter by then had ceased to operate.
Luckily for Irene she had kept the number of the store where she had bought the scooter and that was when Darren Pitt the manager of Ableworld Hanley got the call for help.
What neither party could have expected was that Mike Williams, the national managing director of Ableworld, who are the UK’s largest mobility retailer, just happened to have called into the Hanley store on his way back from doing some Christmas shopping when Irene’s call was received.
Mike and Darren jumped into Mike’s car and drove off in search of the damsel-in-distress.
Irene takes up the story: “A black car stopped the other side of the flood and Darren picked his way over to me. Oh his shoes...! He was super! He first of all used all my tissues, and emergency toilet roll to wipe out the battery compartment, and tried the scooter - no go! Then he dismantled my scooter, took each bit around the flood, using the bank again, until there was only me!”
This was the point at which Darren’s chivalry really kicked in. “He offered me a piggy back but with his and Mike's help, I made it to Mike's car,” Irene explains. “Mike is apparently the owner of Ableworld, and only called in on Darren because he was doing some Xmas shopping in Hanley!
“I was then taken back to the shop, Darren took the necessary details and Mike kindly unloaded his car. Mike then took me home.”
And the service didn’t stop there. Irene again: “Darren called later to say there was water in the wiring so he had put it on the system for an engineer to look at on Monday and would call me again. He did, and he was so nice. He told me that my scooter was fixed, the cost, and one of his girls delivered it back to my flat that afternoon!”
Irene was so grateful that she took the trouble to write to Ableworld’s head office in Stapeley and said: “I am writing to let you know what a wonderful store, manager and staff you have in Hanley, and what a super owner! My thanks to all concerned - I will dine out on this for ages!”
On a later visit to the store Irene was presented with a copy of the Highway Code for Mobility Users.