Generosity of friends and strangers lifts mechanic who lost business in Strachan & Henshaw fire

August 01 2019
Generosity of friends and strangers lifts mechanic who lost business in Strachan & Henshaw fire

A MECHANIC who was left without a livelihood when his business was destroyed says he has been touched by the generosity of both friends and strangers.

Jason Pittaway had only just returned to work after donating a kidney to his son when his premises at the former Strachan and Henshaw building in Speedwell were engulfed in a massive blaze, which wrecked 30 businesses.

The Downend father-of-four lost all the tools and equipment had had built up over 30 years of work, along with several vehicles. His total losses are estimated at around £100,000.

Colleagues of his wife Jo, who works at Christ Church Infant School, offered to host a fundraiser to help get Jason back on his feet.

And the couple were overwhelmed by the generosity of the hundreds of people who came to the event or offered help and donations after reading about Jason’s situation in last month’s Voice.

Jason said the fundraiser had raised around £1,700, with further funds also pledged by Downend Round Table and a bouncy castle operator who set up at the event on June 28.

He said: “Jo knows a lot of the parents and kids but I don’t know them, so it was amazing to see complete strangers coming up and putting money in the bucket. It was touching and really surprising.”

Jason said three people had contacted him to offer tools and one also gave him cash to help him get back in business.

The community has rallied round and it’s not just the money, it’s the thought as well – it’s nice to think people are thinking of you and trying to help you out – I was choked,” he said.

Jo said people’s generosity had made her cry: one man had come to the fundraiser and given her £100, while a woman who had read about the family in the Voice had left a £50 donation at the school office.

She said: “It’s just amazing – I can’t believe how much everyone has helped, giving their time and money. It has meant a lot and given us a massive boost.

Jason had been really down but since the fundraiser he’s back to how he was before, he’s been more positive.

We’d just like to say thanks to all the people who have helped us and given us donations, we really appreciate it.”

Jason is now in the process of sourcing a truck to start his recovery business.