Bin crew make two-year-old Jack's day
A two-year-old boy was left grinning from ear-to-ear - thanks to a kind-hearted bin crew.
The gift came after Jack and the binmen - driver Paul Hardy and loaders Michal Plant and Keith Holden - had built up something of a rapport over the last few months.
The youngster's dad Aaron, who lives with wife Sam, explained: "Jack is a real creature of habit and the visit of the binmen every week has become a key part of his routine.
"He knows to expect them every Tuesday morning and as soon as he hears the wagon approaching, he starts shouting 'the binmen, the binmen!' Jack'll then run to the window and jump onto the couch so he can see them!
"Jack and his nana Jackie, who comes round every Tuesday morning, wave at the binmen and they wave back! He loves watching them collect the bins and watching how they are emptied."
Last Tuesday morning, there was a knock at the door and Jackie answered to find one of the crew with the gift for her grandson.
Mr Beswick added: "The binman was so polite and asked if he could leave the present. Jack absolutely loves it and has barely put it down since! He's been showing his truck to everyone who's come round!
"The crew went beyond the call of duty and they've made one little boy very happy.
"I've worked in the service industry for 12 years and in that time I've rarely seen such a simple but wonderful gesture that has had such a positive impact."
Paul said: "We've got used to seeing Jack sat at his window over the past few weeks. Because he enjoys watching us so much, the lads thought it'd be nice to club together and get him a little something. What better than a toy bin truck!
"We're pleased to hear Jack likes it."
Jack and his parents and nana were invited to our Hackworth Road depot at Peterlee so the youngster could see inside the cab of a bin wagon. He was also given a tour of the depot.
Mr Beswick said: "Jack loved seeing all the wagons, it was like a dream coming true for him visiting the depot and it was hard bringing him away!"
Oliver Sherratt, our head of direct services, said: "We are really proud of the crew. Their small gesture of kindness has not only meant a lot to Jack and his family, but it also shows that our staff care about the job they do, and support the local community where they can.
"We were delighted to show Jack around the depot, which is an amazing place to be if you like big trucks!"