AN ELDERLY man got to celebrate his 81st birthday in style after a Bromsgrove and Redditch- based company organised him a surprise party.
Derek Malin, from Alcester, has been a First Direct customer for 15 years and enjoys doing his banking person-to-person or over the phone – he calls his bank on a regular basis.
The wonderful idea to throw the pensioner a special surprise party came about after a members from the call centre in Leeds noticed they had not heard from Mr Malin in a couple of weeks.
The First Direct team contacted the Redditch and Bromsgrove Home Instead Senior Care office, who provide his at-home care, to find out he was fine but had been in hospital for a short time which had disrupted his usual routine.
Mr Malin had mentioned his upcoming birthday to his caregivers and the bank so the idea of a get together was hatched between the two companies.
The team at Home Instead, knowing Mr Malin’s fondness for a trip out and afternoon tea, suggested a tea party at the Orange Mabel Tearooms, on Alcester High Street.
The birthday boy was joined by Karen Walker – a customer services director HSBC – and a group of other ladies from First Direct’s call centre including Susan Shaw, Alicia Ferguson, Victoria Butler and Jennifer Rotchell.
Caregivers Louise Farmiloe and Debbie Vale also joined the party along with Home Instead owner Annie Dixon Dunn, registered manager Tracey Westwood and Amy Escott from the Ullenhall Home Instead office.
Mr Malin was delighted with his lovely surprise and thoroughly enjoyed putting faces to the names of his call centre friends.
Annie Dixon-Dunn said she thought it was a lovely gesture from the First Direct team.
She added he was a super gentleman and great fun so she was not surprised they had got to know him over the phone.
Karen Walker, from First Direct, added they loved having great conversations with their customers and Mr Malin called them regularly to wish them goodnight.