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The moment NHS worker gets faulty car back after garage steps in with free repairs

PUBLISHED: 17:25 15 May 2020 | UPDATED: 14:47 18 May 2020

Marina Patchett, gives her car a big hug after The Little Car Clinic in Attleborough repaired it for free. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Marina Patchett, gives her car a big hug after The Little Car Clinic in Attleborough repaired it for free. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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An NHS worker, who bought a car with a litany of problems, was stunned on Friday when mechanics rallied round to repair it for free.

Marina Patchett's reaction as her car is uncovered. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMarina Patchett's reaction as her car is uncovered. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Marina Patchett picked up the Mini with a new engine, brakes, wheels and air conditioning system, worth thousands of pounds, after a garage stepped in to save the day.

Mrs Patchett, who works as a healthcare assistant at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, bought the car in February to get to work each day, treating coronavirus patients.

But it was left unused in her driveway in Tunstead when she found the £3,000 vehicle kept stuttering.

The garage she bought it from, Bonds Car Sales on Ber Street in Norwich, had tried to repair it, but the Patchetts said they kept finding more problems with it, including the need for a new clutch.

Darren Jenkins who has repaired the Mini for free. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYDarren Jenkins who has repaired the Mini for free. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

In April Bonds said it would pay for the repairs or give a refund, but could not at that point because of the lockdown.

After reading about her plight in this newspaper, Darren Jenkins, from The Little Car Clinic in Attleborough agreed to fix it for free.

With the help of suppliers, who gave free parts, as well as donations from the public, the car was ready for Mrs Patchett to pick up on Friday.

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“The look on Marina’s face was priceless when she saw the car for the first time,” Mr Jenkins said.

Mrs Patchett, 41, said: “From the first article in the EDP, the response from the people of Norfolk and surrounding areas was heartfelt.

“From what was initially a sour situation, the kindness and support of many local suppliers and people in general has been overwhelming.

“Once Darren made contact via Facebook, his sincerity and commitment bowled me over.

Marina and husband Jason Patchett. Photo: Jason PatchettMarina and husband Jason Patchett. Photo: Jason Patchett

“I feel humbled by the generosity but am cognisant of the fact that this is in recognition of not only me, and the current position I am in regarding my job, but for the whole of the NHS.

“Thank you to all those who supported me. I will never forget the generosity given.”

Companies who helped included; Allmake Motor Parts in Diss, MJ Autoparts, Norwich, Euro Car Parts, Norwich, Vege UK, Nottingham, Absolute Body Work, Spooner Row, Ragged Robin Florists, Wymondham and Aerocoat, Great Yarmouth.

Craig Thurston, Operations Manager at Euro Car Parts Norwich, said: “As Darren stripped the car down, he continued to find more faults and required more and more parts, all of which we were happy to provide for free.

The Mini Marina Patchett bought from Bonds. Photo: Jason PatchettThe Mini Marina Patchett bought from Bonds. Photo: Jason Patchett

“In the 14 years I’ve worked for this company supplying parts to our customers, it’s so refreshing to be able to play a part in this wonderful act of kindness and see the community come together to help those on the front line”.


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