Kindhearted workers keep disabled couple mobile

Scooter owner Michael Dawson with Andrew Haggarty, Ciaran Roche and Aleksandrs Kuznecovs from the maintenance and electricial depts at Vanners.
Scooter owner Michael Dawson with Andrew Haggarty, Ciaran Roche and Aleksandrs Kuznecovs from the maintenance and electricial depts at Vanners.

A disabled couple spoke of their joy and relief after a remarkable act of kindness by three Sudbury silk factory workers ensured they can retain their freedom.

The couple were facing heartbreak at the prospect of being left housebound after their mobility scooter broke down when three engineers at the silk factory used their skills to save the day.

Michael Dawson was travelling home in his double-seated mobility scooter when it ground to a halt on the road near the factory in Gregory Street.

While crossing from Vanners Silk Weavers to one of the firm’s garages, maintenance man Andrew Haggarty saw traffic building up near the fire station where Mr Dawson’s scooter had broken down.

He ran to help the 71-year-old push the vehicle off the road before calling over fellow Vanners maintenance staff Ciaran Roche and Aleksandr Kuznecov to lift the scooter to their garage workshop.

The trio then asked company bosses if they could take a look at the vehicle.

The drive shaft had snapped – but the employees used their skills to fashion a new shaft, using one of the firm’s lathes.

“To think that strangers can come along and be that kindhearted and thoughtful and look for nothing in return is wonderful,” said Mr Dawson, who is terminally ill.

Mr Dawson cares for his severely disabled wife Josephine, 71. Without the scooter she would be left housebound at their home in First Avenue, something the couple had suffered previously for three years.

Mr Dawson said as the scooter was no longer manufactured, parts were no longer available. Without the chance encounter and kindness of the Vanners staff, the couple would have been left stranded.

“It’s just a good feeling knowing you can help someone out,” said Mr Haggarty.