PRODUCED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH UK GOVERNMENT
The UK Government has launched its GREAT Inspirations Campaign to shine a light on businesses and their employees across the country who have responded to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic in remarkable ways and are now going back to business. We shine the spotlight on three sparkling businesses who have shown innovation, resilience and community spirit during such testing times.
Car guru inspires with Covid-19 response team
Naveed Khan is well known for his exceptional vehicle customisation work in his local community. His seventeen-year-old business – Enkahnz, has seen him customise cars for boxers and famous personalities across the globe.
The Bradford born and bred entrepreneur also has an accident and repair division as part of his growing specialist vehicle services, however he never imagined that his hi-tech garage would one day be turned into a distribution centre and hub to help vulnerable people.
“When the lockdown was announced to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, although we were allowed to stay open, work immediately went quiet for us.
“So, I thought rather than sit at home and make videos or sort my house chores, I wanted to work on the frontline and help those most in need. I wanted to play my part in bringing communities together and making full use of my business resources during these unprecedented times.” Said Naveed
Innovation and survival have been the key to Naveed’s growth and success and with the lockdown in place he once again rose to the challenge.
The award-winning entrepreneur immediately put in place a priority service package and discount for frontline workers whose vehicles were involved in accidents or needed repairs. His team were ensuring customers serving in the NHS, emergency services, local authorities and other key business groups, were on a priority service line, with discounts included.
The car guru then decided to customise his own Barugzai Range Rover into a Covid-19 response vehicle, so that he and his team could go out and help keyworkers on the road, with vehicle breakdown or accident repairs.
“We customised my Barugzai Range Rover and had the words ‘COVID-19 response’ painted on it. If you’re worried about crime, but then you see a police car, you might feel a sense of security. But there was nothing to give that sense of security when it came to coronavirus, so that’s why we customised the car like that.
“We want to help people feel safe and secure” Naveed added.
Once the customisation was complete, Naveed put out a message on his social media channels, to ask people struggling to reach out
“We put a message on our social media to make people aware we are here to help in times of need. Within four hours the message went viral and we were inundated with enquiries. My office quickly turned into a hub which was taking calls from needy people and my garage floor was being used as a distribution centre for food parcels and other such items.
“It’s a lot different to what I normally do – from customising cars to delivering food parcels for vulnerable people. It’s a great feeling inside and I am honoured that my team and I can help people like that, during times of need”, explained Naveed.
As demand grew, Naveed managed to utilise his business contacts such as Mercedes Benz of Bradford to get more vehicles on the road and expand the work as a Covid-19 response team.
The team went on to deliver food parcels and safety packages, to laptops and tablets for school children who didn’t have access to the internet while being at home.
Enkahnz’ team were becoming inundated with calls and emails, from vulnerable people asking for health and food packages, to doctors and nurses who needed their vehicles repaired and breakdown assistance.
“The elderly, vulnerable, homeless and key workers are our priority. Local doctors have contacted us who are doing video call appointments, but the patients are unable to collect their prescriptions and need help delivering them. We have had many charities contact us to give out food packages to those in need. With the amount of people in need, we expanded our fleet of response vehicles.”
The dynamic entrepreneur soon partnered up with Mercedes Benz of Bradford, The Bradford Foundation Trust, a consortium of business and charities and Bradford West MP, Naz Shah, to come together in this difficult time, to meet the needs and demands of those in need.
“It’s my duty as a Muslim to help the needy. We need to continue to support each other and lift each other’s spirits during these challenging times. Let’s continue to love each other.” Concluded Naveed.
On the business front, work is now starting to pick up for Enkhanz as more people are realising that it is safe to go back to work and businesses have put in extra measures to ensure safety of staff and workers, restoring consumer confidence that it is now safe to revisit reopened businesses.
Enkhanz have been closely following the HMG guidance and while Naveed’s team generally work in their own bays, keeping more than 2 meters apart and wearing face masks, additional PPE and hand sanitisers have been introduced in the business to keep everyone safe and following all risk assessments and health and safety advice strictly. Customers, when they arrive at Enkanz’ business, can honk their horns and a team member would then go out to see them, allowing a safe distance to be maintained at all times
All 15 of his staff continue to have daily health checks and are monitored so that those who are vulnerable or show symptoms, can stay at home.
Enkahnz is one of many inspiring businesses which is being highlighted as part of the UK Government’s GREAT Inspirations Campaign to shine a light on businesses and their employees across the country who have responded to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic in remarkable ways and are now going back to business.
Kirklees entrepreneur and charity founder goes from business guru to full-time volunteer
A Kirklees based entrepreneur and philanthropist has volunteered his money, and full-time efforts in supporting his local community during the coronavirus crisis. Shakeel Faraz, owns a number of companies, from sports to events and vehicle hire. Since the lockdown was announced it was no longer business as usual for Mr Faraz and he quickly adapted his business operations to keep in line with the UK Government’s lockdown rules. Mr Faraz, who owns Fast Track Solutions and Corporate Event Tickets Ltd, has always been a long-standing supporter of numerous local charities and is considered a community champion. As a result of his philanthropic ways, in 2018 he set up his own charity –
The Magic Wishing Well, whose purpose is to grant life changing wishes to anyone fighting a critical illness. His charity in the past has
supported the homeless, elderly, unsheltered individuals and has assisted hardworking student-athletes through their various scholarship and bursaries programs. Therefore, with the global pandemic still looming the successful entrepreneur moved his direction from a
full-time businessman to a full-time volunteer. Over the past few months, Mr Faraz mobilised his team and resources in helping to raise thousands to support those most vulnerable, the elderly and frontline workers. The moment lockdown was announced Mr Faraz wasted no time in announcing that: “Due to the spread of Covid-19 and new UK Government regulations
of self-isolation for the elderly and vulnerable, we will be delivering food and other essentials for free – door to door.” The Kirklees businessman has supported a range of causes, from delivering toys for children in hospital to free ear savers for NHS staff, to delivering food packages, including partnering up with Rev Brunel James, vicar of the Parish of Whitechapel in Cleckheaton where they donated hot food to
those who were most in need. Mr Faraz told Asian Standard: “Helping one person might not change the whole world, but it could change the world for one person.” “I am lucky I am in a position to give and so while our business is quiet and we are waiting for lockdown to ease, I wanted to put my contacts, connections and team to work in helping the community. It’s particularly important we use
this time to build bridges with our community by helping one another as one unit. “We all are one and need to stick together throughout this crisis. No matter what race, gender, age, religion, or sexuality you are, we are here to help. “It’s been such a humbling experience working with my team, Morrisons, the council, Rev Brunel James and many others to be able to put smiles on people’s faces. “All our projects are self-funded either by us or generous members of our community donating, if anyone would like to donate towards our projects please visit https://www.justgiving.com/themagicwishingwell.”
Kindness is ‘key’ between mosque and locksmith
Wearside based Fletcher Locksmith & Safe Co found kindness was key when coming to the rescue of Sunderland Central Mosque.
With premises closed due to the coronavirus crisis, some access was still needed to help set up a regular broadcast from the mosque, so its congregation could worship in their own homes. Unfortunately, mosque officials suddenly found themselves shut out due to a troublesome lock.
There was only one thing to do for former Mosque Secretary Abdur Rouf. Aware of the high reputation of a family company in the city’s Fulwell area, he picked up the phone to ask for help. Paul Fletcher, who runs the business with his dad John
Fletcher, 72 and son Layton, 20, spoke to Asian Standard: “The people at the mosque rang us and said they were having trouble getting in and out of the building – then they couldn’t get in at all. It’s closed because of the coronavirus, but they still needed access, so I offered to help them out.”
Nothing unusual there you’d think until it becomes clear Paul, 44, was angered by tales of businesses profiteering from the lockdown. He was determined to show there are still good guys out there. He quickly cut new keys for the Mosque, offering his services free, even though the work involved at the Mosque itself would normally cost around £100. Emergency locksmiths are also categorised as essential workers – but it does seem some have been asking hundreds of pounds for jobs worth much less.
Paul added: “I’d been reading about ‘rip-off locksmiths’ charging a fortune for little jobs. I don’t want it to be in people’s minds we’re all like that. So, I’m doing my bit.
“I’ve cut a few free keys for nurses as well. Hopefully, I’ll get something back when things are back to normal.”
Paul’s good deed was certainly greatly appreciated by Abdur who said: “I’ve known Paul for a while. We had a problem with a lock at the mosque. He came out and didn’t take any money, because it’s a mosque. We are all very appreciative.”
Meanwhile the efforts of Paul and his little team are also making a difference in the community as he explained: “I can’t afford to do everything free. But I’m offering discounts to care homes too.”
The Fletcher’s kindness has brought lots of positive social media messages including one from a man in Birmingham who said: “Hello Paul, I read the story about you helping the mosque, NHS workers and a care home.
“I just want to say thank you very much. In these times it’s hard for everyone, but for you to carry out this work for free and help people out is great. If only there were more people like you.
“I know a lot of people who could ignore helping others in their time of need. But you have showed me there’s still humanity out there. I just wanted to say thank you.” Khanage Imran Khan.
As for Sunderland Central Mosque, they’ve told Paul blessings are certainly coming his way.