Vauxhall calls on BEN, Age Concern, British Legion and the Vauxhall Welfare Fund.


When one of Vauxhall’s Luton pensioners found himself suddenly alone with only his little dog for company his world turned upside down. Caring for himself no longer seemed important and gradually his home began to fall apart. The analogue television set stopped working with the change over to digital, the microwave packed up and generally the house fell into decline.

When this came to the attention of Cherie Denton, the Vauxhall Welfare Officer, she arranged a visit to assess the situation and immediately started getting the various agencies who could provide help involved. Age Concern Luton was contacted, Royal British Legion, The Motor & Allied Trade Benevolent Fund (BEN) and also the Vauxhall Welfare Fund.

However, she was talking to Vauxhall’s Body Shop Manager Dave Garrett on another issue when he said that he could probably arrange a team of employees to help with a project. Enter Simon Petrie, Steve Woodward, Robert Turner and Kevin Allen, all Vauxhall Body Shop employees. They turned up at the house and were shocked that an ex-Vauxhall employee was living in this condition. They cleared out the unwanted items with the help of the pensioner to get the property ready for a deep clean. They decided not to stop there but volunteered to re-decorate it for him. Whilst the cleaning was taking place, paint and materials were being donated from all over the place. Back in came the Body Shop team. They not only carried out the decoration but one of the team produced a digital television that he set up with a great picture, another one turned up with a fridge and a third a microwave! “It was like having a birthday,” said the gentleman.

The charities have all come together and helped with new carpeting, furniture, a new bathroom suite and have made his home much safer and warmer. The pensioner’s pride in his home and himself have been gradually restored. Thanks go to all involved but particularly to a team of special guys who gave up their time to help one of their ex-employees.

Christopher Macgowan

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