Life – it never ceases to surprise

Peter Vosper presents the Vospers donation to Mark Hawkins, with Alison Upton and Jim Parker looking on

Peter Vosper presents the Vospers donation to Mark Hawkins, chief executive of Rowcroft Hospice, with Alison Upton, Rowcroft's community fundraising manager, and Jim Parker, editor of Torbay Weekly, looking on - Credit: Submitted

Since returning to the opening of dealers' showrooms on April 12, businesses have been flat out trying to recover at least some of the sales loss in the lockdown period.

Customers, too, have been keen to sort out their overdue lease and take that necessary test drive before committing to a new model and whether to take the big step to pure electric or compromise by moving to a hybrid. 

All in all, dealers have been delighted with the demand and employees happy to be back to work with their colleagues.

This business entailing the preparation of new and used cars for sale has also been vital for the service and repair market.

A year ago, other than being allowed to look after essential services, we were closed and the Government even granted an extension to the annual MOT with certain provisos and most of the employees were furloughed.

Services were put back to re-opening in June and many of those customers who had an annual service due in April or May have done little mileage and are happy to postpone again.

However, it may be worthwhile contacting your dealer to see if he can service your car in May as demand will be very high in June, as sales had boomed on the return from lockdown and those cars will need service too.  

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We are all hopeful as cases of the virus fall, hospital visits and deaths have fallen to the low at the end of last summer, and the roll out of vaccinations continues ahead of objective.

Return to some form of normality seems possible by the end of June and we are all entitled to feel optimistic about the future.

As many vital charities have struggled during the pandemic, the Torbay Weekly had decided to try and raise £50,000 for Rowcroft Hospice and Vospers had agreed to make a £1,000 donation for this amazing organisation.

The handing over of the cheque was arranged in advance at Vosper’s Peugeot premises in Torquay and I arrived to meet representatives of the paper and Rowcroft there.

Full of positive news about the return to work, I enthusiastically greeted my team.

I was horrified to learn the team’s workshop controller, Nick, had tragically passed away early that morning in the very hospice I was about to present our cheque to, Rowcroft.

This amazing man was a well-loved and vital member of our team and is survived by his wife and two young children, who have my and all our team’s sincere condolences.

Sadly, life has the ability to raise our spirits and dash them in an instant.

Keep safe and keep positive. I look forward to next week.