£2,000 has been raised in just two days by the caring Saddleworth community to help fix the truck of a local hero who came to their rescue in the snow.
During recent heavy snow and wind from February 28, Dez Richardson used his 4×4 pickup truck to rescue local motorists who got stranded or come off the road in the ice.
His kind deeds also included taking people to work, picking up shopping for them, and even taking one patient to Chadderton for her chemotherapy appointment.
However, on March 1 a fellow motorist crashed into his truck while he was out helping tow a car, causing considerable damage.
Joe Wheeler, a member of Saddleworth Parish Youth Committee who also helped out during the bad weather, set up a JustGiving page to raise the money for the repairs – and hit the target in less than 48 hours.
Joe said: “Dez is very lost for words to say the least! He doesn’t want to see a penny of it so I am sending the money directly to the garage myself.
“Danny and I were out doing our bit in our local area around Lees to Lydgate when we saw on Facebook that all hell was breaking loose in Delph due to the M62 being closed, power cuts etc.
“So I sent Dez a message and asked if he was passing would he be able to give us a lift up there. He responded in seconds saying that he was on his way.
“Even from the short journey from Springhead to Delph, he stopped at every single car to make sure that they were safe. He must have towed at least five to safety along the way.
“On the journey he filled us in on the accident in which someone had done a hit and run on his truck while he was on a call-out to help a member of the community.
“I was not willing to allow Dez to be out of pocket while doing the amazing job he does, free of charge, for our community so I decided to set up the Just Giving page.”
Joe added: “It was a tantalising 36 hours with very little sleep for the constant ping of another donation to the fund
“The saint of Saddleworth needed saving and our remarkable neighbours came to the rescue in such a short time.
“I’m personally blown away by the support received. It really does show that karma works both ways – when you help strangers, expecting nothing back, they will always help you in your time of need.
“Thank you Dez, on behalf of Saddleworth.”
Other individuals and groups were also out and about helping across the community, including Saddleworth Parish Youth Committee members.
They received a special letter from Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, thanking them for their work.
She wrote: “I wanted to contact you to offer my heartfelt thanks for all the work you have done to help others in Oldham and Saddleworth during the recent wintry period.
“I understand that you have assisted a number of people, ensuring they are not left isolated or left without support.
“Many people have highlighted the way you have supported the local community over the last few days and I cannot thank you enough for all that you have done.
“It really is thanks to people like you and our emergency workers that we are able to help the most vulnerable during winter weather.
“Your activities over the past few days represent what ‘community’ means, looking out for each other and helping our neighbours.
“I have no doubt that your work has had a real impact on the people you have assitated and you should be very proud of all you have done.”