Grateful student creates bus driver award

REWARD Andrew Helps with driver Colin Bedwell
REWARD Andrew Helps with driver Colin Bedwell

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A FAREHAM College IT student has created a new award for bus drivers after his life was touched by a kindly man behind the wheel.

Andrew Helps, who suffers from Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita – a condition that affects his arms and legs – came up with the idea for the Southampton Area Bus Driver Award, after a Bluestar bus driver came to his aid when he was in pain.

The 17-year-old said: ‘The driver helped me reach my home and stayed until my mother was able to collect me. 

‘It was afterwards that I realised that there must be many acts of kindness from bus drivers that go unrecognised but are much appreciated by passengers.’

The award is drawn from a list of nominated bus drivers on a dedicated Facebook page.

Out of 14 names of bus drivers put forward for the inaugural award, a driver who helped an elderly woman passenger who collapsed came top.

Bus driver Colin Bedwell accepted the certificate of appreciation and gift vouchers at a presentation at the Barton Park depot, in Eastleigh.

Steve Cuff, Bluestar’s operations manager, said the company was delighted for one of their drivers to gain this recognition.

‘We get a large number of commendations through our own websites and by letters, so the idea of a people’s choice award will be popular with bus users,’ he said.