Hatfield bus driver awarded after raising thousands for colleague's daughter
PUBLISHED: 12:28 17 September 2019 | UPDATED: 12:28 17 September 2019
A Hatfield bus driver received an award after raising more than £4,000 for his colleague's daughter, who suffers from a visual condition.
Neil Bates was given the Charity Star Award as part of Uno bus company's People Against Ordinary Awards, which recognise the best people and teams across the business.
He raised money for his colleague Simon Calder's 11-year-old daughter Lucy, who has a condition called arteriovenous malformation which affects her vision. The money enabled Lucy and her family to take the 'trip of a lifetime' to Hollywood, USA.
An awards ceremony was held at the University of Hertfordshire's Fielder Centre in Hatfield, with employees from Hatfield, Northampton and Cranfield. Lucy also attended as a surprise guest to thank Neil and see him presented with his award.
Lucy said: "It was brilliant giving Neil his award because he so deserves it. He got me to Hollywood and I think he's brilliant."
Her dad Simon added: "Neil is such a great man for his non-stop efforts for Lucy. We are forever grateful to him.
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"The best part of the night was the shock on his face as he didn't know Lucy was going to be there."
The scheme recognised 36 finalists across 10 categories, including the Extraordinary Driver of the Year, the WOW! Award and the Awesome Awards, the latter of which were nominated by customers.
Neil said: "Seeing Lucy was better than winning the award, and knowing that she has created memories that she hopefully never forgets makes me very happy."
Uno bus managing director Jim Thorpe said: "These awards are so important to Uno. We are first and foremost a people business, and it's our employees that make the real difference day in, day out.
"The awards not only recognise employees nominated by colleagues in the business, but the winners of The Awesome Awards are all nominated by our customers.
"The Charity Star Award was very special, such an emotional moment for Neil, and such a special evening for him as he went on to win Hatfield's Awesome Award too!
"Congratulations to Neil and all of our winners on the night.
"We're all really proud of you!"