Ex-serviceman helped by Eastbourne students and businesses

Soldiers off the Street presentation at Sussex Downs College SUS-160706-134515001
Soldiers off the Street presentation at Sussex Downs College SUS-160706-134515001

An ex-serviceman is back on the road after students, local businesses and a national charity repaired and donated a car.

Dean Roberts, an ex-logistics driver, received a newly restored Renault Clio at Sussex Downs College this week as part of the collaboration.

Eastbourne resident Rick Plumber, himself an ex-serviceman and current fireman, contacted Soldiers off the Street charity, wanting to donate his wife’s Clio.

He then contacted Mark Streeter at Sussex Downs College to get staff and students on board in making the Clio road worthy again for the charity.

Through the support of local businesses Hankham Motorworks, Euro Car Parts, Hobbs Recovery Service and Brown Brothers Ltd, which provided the parts, MOT and paint, and five college vehicle repair students, the car was restored to its former glory. In total, the car received £2,500 worth of work. The students spent one session a week working on the car over six weeks, totalling around 34 hours workshop time.

Dean, who now lives in Bournemouth, said he was delighted.

“Thank you doesn’t quite cut it but it’s all I can say to everyone here today,” said the ex-soldier, who was a driver for different regiments in the military but left in 2008 after a motorbike accident.

Shaun Read from Hankham Motorworks had the vehicle road tested and provided the MOT.

““We’re happy to help out on an amazing project like this,” said Shaun.

“The students have done a fantastic job in making the car road worthy.”

A spokesperson for Soldiers off the Street said, “We are so grateful to Rick for providing the car and supporting the charity.”

The college now hopes to make this a regular annual event, working with local businesses in supporting ex-serviceman.

In addition, Rick Plumber didn’t end his charity donation with just the car.

The ex-serviceman recently ran the Paras’ 10, a 10-mile endurance race in Colchester where entrants have to complete it in under one hour 50 minutes whilst carrying 35 pounds of weight.

The money he raised in this event has paid for Dean’s car insurance for a year.

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