A Shropshire-based businessman who pledged to donate ten per cent of his first three months takings to Severn Hospice after emerging from lockdown has already raised £700 – with a month still left to go.
Andrew Bowcott, who reopened his oven valeting business, Ovenu Telford, in mid-May, has already seen a considerable uplift in bookings during his first two full months back.
The 40-year-old from Doseley said: “Being unable to work during the height of the coronavirus lockdown was extremely frustrating but it’s great to busy again and to know it’s also benefitting such a worthwhile cause.
“I’ve already raised £700 and hope to get well over the £1,000 mark by the end of August.”
Both he and his wife were widowed at a young age, so he decided to help Severn Hospice, an independent charity that supports thousands of people every year cope with the impact of a terminal diagnosis.
“This dreadful virus has underlined the dedication and professionalism of our healthcare workers and I simply wanted to do something positive to show my gratitude.”
Andrew had only been trading for three months when he was forced to mothball his fledgling business after lockdown restrictions were introduced in March. He reopened on 18 May, after introducing a range of safety procedures following revised guidance on working in other peoples’ homes.
“I’ve been amazed by the number of bookings I’ve received since reopening – I think quite a few ovens have needed cleaning with all the extra cooking and baking that took place over lockdown!”
He has also been buoyed after gaining a clean sweep of 50 maximum five-star customer reviews on respected online platform TRUSTist.
“I’m working hard to establish the business so it’s fantastic to get such positive feedback from those that matter most, my clients,” he added.
Rik Hellewell, the founder and managing director of Ovenu, said: “I’m proud of Andrew for overcoming the challenges of COVID-19 and returning to work in a responsible and safe manner, and at the same time giving something back to a cause that is close to his heart.”