Award for Reading Buses driver who surprised young passenger with sign language

David Speake

A Reading Buses driver took a family by surprise when he used sign language to communicate with their five-year-old daughter.

David Speake, who has driven for the company for three years, transformed the experience of young passenger Emily Tilehurst after he communicated with her using Makaton sign language.

Emily’s father, who nominated David, says it was the first time outside Emily’s own group that she had met someone who knew Makaton.

“I really want to say a big thank to David who really made my daughter’s day. She now keeps a look out for David on the bus and made me buy her a toy bus,” he says.

Reading Buses HR Director Caroline Anscombe praised David for his “all-round good performance” and for his caring attitude towards the passengers. “Whilst we realise that it was chance that David was able to converse with Emily in sign language, it just shows the extra effort that our employees put in to make our customers feel welcome on board – well done David.”

Nominated: Mandy Hunt

Meanwhile, Mandy Hunt, a member of the night fuelling and shunting team at Reading Buses, was also nominated for a Star of the Month award after volunteering for jobs rejected by others.

“Mandy volunteered to clean up a mess on two night buses so that nobody else had to and did so without any fuss,” says Caroline. “This is something that colleagues say Mandy does all the time and is diligent and caring of her colleagues at all times. I think that shows she is a real team player and puts her colleagues first.”