Edd China's Van Heroes
Over the last three months, Volkswagen Comnmercial Vehicles and TV personality Edd China have been scouring the nation for the the UK’s most heroic van drivers. Those who have given their time, energy and effort to keep the nation rolling during a challenging year.
After an influx of incredible entries and some long discussions, we’ve whittled the list to just nine shortlisted entries. From the South Londoner whose racked up over 9000 miles delivering food packages to exhausted NHS workers, to an ice cream seller whose love for the community saw him start a colouring competition for bored local children during lockdown, the efforts of our Van Heroes are as diverse and inspirational as they are awe-inspiring.
St Albans-based couple Amanda and Brian Palmer have been named as 2020’s Van Heroes. The duo stood out to the panel of judges for seizing the opportunity to help others when coronavirus forced them to close their mobile car repair business rather than shutting themselves away.
Van Heroes winners
Brian and Amanda Palmer
It takes a special type of person to pick themselves up as their world collapses around them and turn the negativity into a force for good. The Palmers have done just that, shrugging off the enforced closure of their mobile car repair business in lockdown, and putting their time and resources into collecting and then delivering home-made meals and snacks to NHS staff all over north London.
Van Heroes shortlist
Heroic barely scratches the surface when it comes to the work Louis and the New Forest Bike Project are doing. Busier than ever during the pandemic, Louis transports, refurbishes and delivers donated bicycles to those in need, allowing everyone the opportunity to get out on two wheels. Selfless, hard-working and most definitely a hero.
David has been travelling up and down the country during the pandemic (in some cases from Dorset to Inverness) in order keep the wheels of critical industries – such as healthcare and the armed forces – turning, most notably with PPE deliveries.
A carpet fitter and flooring specialist by trade, Kieryn went above and beyond to help the family of a newborn with allergies recently. With the feeding formula they use was out of stock in all local shops, Kieryn selflessly hopped in his van and scoured the local area to help get the family's dilemma sorted.
Friends call him Lordy, but perhaps Superman would be more appropriate. Refusing a single day off throughout the entirety of lockdown, his dedication to keeping his ThinkFord retail site open for key workers is inspiring – as too is the humble manner he has soaked up all the praise for his hard work.
Operating a dedicated 24/7 European-wide delivery service is no mean feat, especially when you often have just 30 minutes’ notice of a customer consignment. It's even harder in lockdown. But, for Simon, it has remained all in a day’s work. He's hit every deadline, all with his trademark smile.
An ice cream seller by trade, Chris’ business was plunged into uncertainty when the first lockdown hit. Not one to sit idle, Chris became a local hero by starting a colouring campaign for children, with the prize delivered by Chris himself. While keeping local spirits high, he then began buying quality desserts from local restaurants and selling them from his van in a bid to bring joy to the bored community.
Always finding the positives in a situation is easier said than done – especially with the pressures of lockdown. But it’s something Perry does day in, day out as he relentlessly helps and advises his customers on how best to save money on their plumbing and gas repairs. Perry’s customer-focused approach and positive attitude sees his business growing every day.
In normal times Nick uses his van to transport the local youth club on fun days out. But, during the pandemic, Nick has now taken his hero status to new heights, dedicating seven days a week since March 21 to collecting and delivering food donations to those in need.