Big Issue Vendor

‘I’m overwhelmed’: Social media users flood to support struggling mechanic

"It's unbelievable. Every customer I've had today is a brand new customer, I've never seen them before in my life." 
Jim Walsh who runs Highmains Garage in East Kilbride has struggled through Covid-19. Image credit: Harley Walsh / Twitter

Never underestimate social media’s power for good. A car mechanic whose garage was on the brink of collapse has had his business saved after being inundated with bookings from kind-hearted Twitter users.

Jim Walsh, 52, from East Kilbride, has been in the trade for 35 years and owns a garage with one full-time employee.

Like many, the pandemic left him struggling for work and he was worried about the future of his business. 

But after daughter Harley’s viral post on Twitter, he told the Big Issue he went from a handful of jobs a week to being “totally full” every day.

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“It’s been like this for months,” Jim said. “I was getting four or five jobs a week and cancellations.” 

“It’s unbelievable. Every customer I’ve had today is a brand new customer, I’ve never seen them before in my life.” 

On Thursday, his daughter Harley posted: “This is my Dad. His car mechanic garage of 35 years is in crisis due to the ongoing pandemic.

“If it keeps going this way, it isn’t likely to survive. He will beat any price you have been quoted. Please retweet and like.” 

Jim said he was “overwhelmed” after continually worrying about the garage’s future, adding he could never have expected the response. 

“It certainly goes a long way to help me out,” he said. “I was getting down and struggling just thinking about work and constantly worrying about what’s happening.” 

He described it as “remarkable” and said customers had come far and wide, from the West end of Glasgow to as far as Manchester. 

“I’m getting a lot of new phone calls, it’s quite confusing actually because there are so many calls coming in at the one time. 

“There’s a lot of younger people. There are people coming from Livingston, people coming from Edinburgh, and they are prepared to come up here.

“I’m 52 years old and I have never felt the way I feel today or yesterday. You know, I don’t know what to say. I really don’t know what to say.”

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