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Romford scooter shop's winter mercy mission for the borough's elderly

PUBLISHED: 12:02 16 December 2010

Gary Barrett with Elizabeth Brown

Gary Barrett with Elizabeth Brown

Archant

IN a fast moving world dominated by internet shopping many people complain that customer service is not what it was.

But a small family run mobility business in Romford has set out to spread a little festive warmth and bring back the sort of personal touch that puts a smile on people’s faces.

Kim Barrett, who runs Kalabar in the High Street with her husband Gary, feared the harsh weather would have been giving many of their regulars a tough time.

So in the seasonal spirit, the kind-hearted pair manned the phones to find out if there was anything they could do and were met with a warm response from their customers, who sent thank you cards and chocolates.

Widow Elizabeth Brown, 78, from Criagdale Road, Romford, was one of those grateful to the couple.

“They phoned me up and asked if I needed any help,” she said. “I hadn’t been able to go out in five days and I don’t know what I would’ve done if it wasn’t for them. They brought me my shopping.

“I felt like a prisoner in my own home during the cold weather and very lonely so it was nice to have friendly face help me.”

The couple set up Kalabar, which specialises in wheelchairs, scooters and stairlifts, five years ago in Romford High Street with Gary’s redundancy money but have since expanded to Como Street.

Kim said: “My dad was disabled and he always thought he was getting mistreated and things like that. Gary was getting made redundant and we thought we would set up our own mobility shop.

“We’ve got lots of regular customers now who come in and have a coffee and a chat, and with the weather being bad, rather than do nothing, we thought we would see if they were all right. We just rang around and asked if they needed any shopping or anything doing, a lot of people can’t get out. A lot of people said they were all okay but we had about five or six people needing help.”

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