Birmingham volunteer hailed a hero

Lord Mayor’s recognition for lockdown delivery volunteer.

Big-hearted Birmingham gas engineer Carlton Hardy has been hailed a hero by city Lord Mayor Cllr Mohammed Azim for his work in helping those in need during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Carlton (pictured), who works as an emergency gas engineer for West Midlands gas distributor Cadent, received a VIP pat on the back for his volunteering work with Frankley Christian community social enterprise, NewStarts.

Backed by Cadent, the 46-year-old first call operative has been delivering food parcels to people who are shielding, self-isolating and to those struggling to make ends meet during the Covid-19 lockdown and ongoing restrictions.

In a letter from Councillor Azim, Carlton was applauded for his politeness and professionalism and described as a great example of the community and local business working together.

Councillor Azim added: “You truly are a hero in these challenging times”.

Carlton, of Weoley Castle, said: “I was very honoured to get a letter from the Lord Mayor. I just wanted to help the community. There’s always someone worse off than yourself and there’s so many people in need at the moment. It’s been really rewarding; people are so appreciative on the doorsteps when you drop off food parcels.”

Carlton is one of a number of Cadent staff across the West Midlands being supported to help those affected by Covid-19 through a company scheme that gives employees two days of paid ‘volunteer leave’ per month.

The scheme, which allows people to volunteer for worthy causes during work time, has recently been extended into June and July.

NewStarts is a Christian community re-use social enterprise, which provides emergency food, free furniture and household supplies to people on low incomes or in financial crisis. Since lockdown began, it has seen a 1000% increase in demand at its foodbanks in New Frankley and Bromsgrove and has provided nearly 40,000 free meals.

Carlton is one Cadent’s force of emergency engineers, who have been continuing to work in the community, throughout the lockdown, to keep West Midlands residents safe. Frontline engineers like Carlton deal with gas escapes and deadly carbon monoxide leaks.

You can find out more on our website about how Cadent is taking additional precautions to protect staff and residents from Covid-19 here.