Sheffield drivers surprise colleague with life-changing bike

First Sheffield

Photograph by Richard Walker / www.imagenorth.net
First Sheffield Photograph by Richard Walker / www.imagenorth.net

Sheffield resident and First Sheffield employee, Sean Gilbert, has been presented with an electric bike by the Mayor of Sheffield, after colleagues from First South Yorkshire and TBF (The Transport Benevolent Fund), rallied together and raised funds to help get him back on his feet, after he was diagnosed with a life-changing illness.

Sean, aged 49, worked as a bus driver at First Sheffield for over 20 years, but after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s in September 2016 he was given the devastating news that he would no longer be able to drive. The business was able to offer Sean an alternative position within the company, however, Sean began to find it difficult to commute into work, due to his condition. Sean’s doctor’s advised him to try and exercise and recommended purchasing an electric bike, with a RRP of over £1,100.

Led by the Unite the union, drivers and colleagues at the bus depot in Sheffield worked to raise money to help Sean purchase the electric bike and transport charity TBF, donated half the money needed for the bike.

Speaking about the fundraising, Andrew Yeardley, Branch Secretary from Unite the union, said: “We arranged breakfast mornings at the depot and all of the drivers really got behind raising money for Sean. He’s been with the team for over 20 years and everyone really wanted to help in any way they could. As a result of the fundraising, combined with a donation from First South Yorkshire and the TBF, we managed to raise all of the money Sean needed to put towards an electric bike.”

Sean Gilbert, adds: “I was gobsmacked by the support from the team, but I’m also really grateful. The bike is fantastic and it’s really going to help me to keep active.”

A spokesperson from TBF, adds: “TBF is always happy to assist its members in times of need, and delighted to help on this occasion.”