How this Hartlepool garage helped a dad in need

Chris Lavender (right) with Steven Wood. Picture by FRANK REID
Chris Lavender (right) with Steven Wood. Picture by FRANK REID

A down-on-his-luck dad was given reason to smile after a difficult time thanks to the kindness of a Hartlepool car repair business.

Single dad Christopher Lavender, 42, recently went through a bad time.

First his Ford Focus was badly damaged through no fault of his own resulting in a man being taken to court.

And things got even worse when Christopher, of Dyke House, had to go into hospital for surgery.

He was quoted almost £2,000 to repair the damage to his car.

But friend Steven Wood, who owns SJF Refinishing in Usworth Road, came to Christopher’s aid offering to do the job virtually free of charge.

Christopher, who is dad to Abbie, 16, said: “I was annoyed over what happened to my car.

“The person was ordered to pay £200 compensation. A quote I got from one garage was just under £1,800.

“I went to Steven for a quote which was more or less the same but then he found out I had been in hospital and was going through a bit of a rough patch, so he stepped in and said he would do it for nothing.

“He said it would be one less thing on my mind.”

Steven stripped down, repaired and repainted the two damaged driver side doors making the car look just like new.

In the end Christopher only had to pay £140.

Steven, who has known Christopher for a number of years, said: “I saw a message Christopher put on Facebook and felt obliged to help him out.

“He was getting crazy prices from garages of £1,700 and £1,800.

“I told him to come down and I would sort it out for him.

“He had been unexpectedly poorly so I thought it would be a nice gesture.

“He was over the moon, close to tears.”

And Christopher, who works part time at the A19 services at Dalton Piercy, was delighted with the result.

“The work he put into it was pretty unbelievable,” he said. “He’s a little diamond.

“I can’t thank him enough.”