Celebrating Calderdale’s COVID stars

Ghulam Mustafa

Thank you!

That’s Calderdale Council’s message to everyone involved in the massive team effort to fight COVID-19 across the borough.

An army of organisations and individuals continue to do all they can to tackle the virus and keep each other safe.

This includes the local key workers and businesses which have selflessly carried on working to help keep us all going through the pandemic – taxi and bus drivers taking us to medical appointments; local shops, takeaways and delivery drivers keeping us fed; cleaners helping to keep premises COVID-secure; and countless others.

Cllr Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said:

“In the current lockdown, some employees are continuing to go out to work as they are unable to work from home, and certain businesses are staying open to provide the essentials we need. They are potentially putting themselves at risk from the virus, and showing great kindness, to help us. They are doing brilliantly at staying COVID-secure to protect everyone and keep our economy going.

“To all the key workers and businesses, we say thank you. It’s important to celebrate their contribution along with the many others who are making a difference during the pandemic.”

Key worker and business stories:

Ghulam Mustafa, Carnetic – Auto Diagnostics

Ghulam Mustafa runs Carnetic – Auto Diagnostics, a mobile mechanic business based in Halifax. Ghulam and his staff have continued to go out to people’s homes to repair and service their vehicles throughout the pandemic. Ghulam says:

“We’ve kept going during every lockdown because we know how much people value our mobile service when they might not feel comfortable going out for their essential car repairs. We also help other key workers by looking after pharmacy vehicles so they can deliver medication to people at home.

“We’re always extremely careful and have COVID safety measures like contactless payment, hand gel and passing car keys to customers through their windows. We wear face masks and gloves.

“This keeps our customers safe and gives me and my staff more protection. This is so important to me personally because my family and I live with my elderly parents and my father is shielding. When I get home from work, I always wash my hands, have a shower and wipe down surfaces to protect my family.

“We’ve seen so much kindness whilst working across Calderdale and we always do our best to give back. Last year, The Next Step Trust charity needed an urgent van repair to take their service users out for essential journeys, and we didn’t charge them for the work. Another time, a lady rang us on Christmas Eve as her car battery was flat and she was due to visit her mum in a care home on Christmas Day after not seeing her for months. We went straight out to help her on Christmas Eve and rang her the day after to make sure everything was ok.”

Stephen Gale, Pennine Taxis

 “As a local taxi company, we have been focusing on the transportation of elderly and vulnerable people in Calderdale and surrounding areas. Since the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccinations, we have been happy to work alongside the CCG, local GP surgeries and others to get people to their vaccination points.

“Our job does not start and end at the kerb edge. Due to wintery conditions, passengers are asked to wait indoors until we knock and escort them safely to the cab. All passengers, unless exempt, are asked to wear a mask.

“Like many people, I have my own concerns about the virus but I keep going. We always wear a face mask, let fresh air in and wipe the taxis down after every journey. My company has had good support from the Council with masks, hand gel and signs for inside the cab reminding our passengers of requirements. This has been a big help.

“I would personally like to thank everyone who has been involved in the local vaccination programme.”

In addition to the selfless acts of kindness and COVID-secure measures throughout our communities, Calderdale Council and its partner organisations are doing all they can to prevent and control the virus and make it as easy as possible for individuals and businesses to do the right thing.

The ongoing partnership work includes:

  • Engaging with and supporting communities, particularly in areas with high infection rates.
  • Increasing and improving access to testing for residents with symptoms, and rapid lateral flow testing for employees that are at higher risk of coming into contact with the virus.
  • Ensuring that those most at risk from COVID-19 are offered a vaccine, in line with the national priority groups
  • Carrying out local contact tracing to support the national Test and Trace service.
  • Providing support to people to enable them to self-isolate, including financial support.
  • Engaging with businesses and helping them to be COVID-secure.
  • Enforcing COVID-19 restrictions where necessary.

For up-to-date and reliable information about COVID-19, use trusted sources such as: link) link)




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