Mike Smith of Hertfordshire based Bees Electrical Services is “just buzzing” after being selected as a regional finalist in a nationwide competition to find Britain’s Best Van Hero. The electrician, fought off tough competition from masses of other trades and industries from all corners of the UK, after being nominated for the title by the neighbour of one of his customers. Designed to celebrate the entrepreneurialism of the great British van driver, the competition was open to van or pickup truck driving businesses no matter what their sector. The fact that an electrician has been selected as a regional finalist is a feather in the cap for the electrical trade.
Sarah Lowther of decided to nominate Mike after he was asked by her neighbour to check out unsafe electrics in a room in the elderly gentleman’s house. Not only did Mike fix the electrics, but on finding the out the man had been living in deplorable damp conditions, he set about locating and fixing the serious damp problem. His good deeds didn’t stop here. After discovering his customer had a question-mark hanging over the ownership of his house and also had not been receiving the correct pension payments, Mike took it upon himself to get in touch with a solicitor and social services to get these problems resolved. Using his contacts, he then galvanised some local tradespeople to erect scaffolding at the customer’s house and fix a dangerously toppling chimney.
“It’s not often that you get a tradesperson willing to think outside the box, applying his skills and compassion to solving problems for his clients in this manner – much of it at no cost. So many white van men get a bad press for all the wrong reasons. That’s why I was delighted when I found out about the Van Hero Awards so I could nominate Mike to get the positive recognition he deserves. I’m thrilled that he’s been shortlisted, so well deserved!” says Sarah.
Mike’s efforts have now been recognised by Vanarama. As a result of being shortlisted, he is now in the running to receive a three-year free van lease or £5,000, competing against finalists from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
Andy Alderson, Managing Director and founder of Vanarama says, “Over the past few months we’ve encouraged people to vote for inspirational tradespeople in their local communities. The fact that Mike has been chosen as one of the five regional finalists is testament to the conscientious, caring and customer focussed nature of his work. We want to showcase van drivers like Mike; hard-workers, running their own business, following their dreams while helping their communities at the same time. A real credit to the van driving community!”
The national winner of the Vanarama Van Hero Awards will be announced in October 2016