|By Marketwired .||
|February 13, 2013 05:25 AM EST||
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwire) -- 02/13/13 -- A Hartlepool cabbie who won Swinton Taxi Division's Cabbie of the Year award in 2012 is encouraging fellow cabbies to enter the 2013 competition.
John Osborne, 45, beat 359 entrants last year to win the coveted award, after Swinton launched its national competition to find Britain's most dedicated taxi driver.
One-year-on as Swinton prepares to launch Cabbie of the Year 2013, John, whose daughter nominated him last year, said: "When I won the award I was totally shocked and obviously really pleased.
"It was a good feeling, and my regular customers were really happy for me. I'd definitely advise other cabbies to go for it!"
Swinton Taxi chose John as the champion due to his heartfelt dedication to his customers and his community spirit. For years, John has given up Christmas Day with his partner of 20 years, and four children, to take people to visit their relatives in hospital free of charge.
He is also well known for encouraging local cabbies on his route from Hartlepool Station to get into the charity spirit, by asking them to join him in offering customer's journeys in exchange for donations to Hartlepool Hospice.
Swinton presented Mr Osborne with a cheque for GBP 1,000 and a year's free taxi insurance - a prize in itself worth thousands.
And John, who has been driving taxis for 19 years, is still as generous as ever, preferring to share the prize money with his family rather than spending it on himself.
"I gave GBP 200 to each of my four kids," John says, "and donated GBP 200 to the local hospice."
Steve Chelton, Claims Manager at Swinton, said: "When we saw John's nomination last year, we knew he was exactly what we were looking for in our 'Cabbie of the Year'. He was good hearted, and happy to go out of his way to help others.
"We are delighted to announce that our Cabbie of the Year competition will be returning for 2013, and we look forward to hearing more inspirational stories from hard-working taxi drivers from across the UK."
-- With over 500 branches nationwide Swinton is the UK's largest high street insurance retailer -- Unlike many other companies in the financial services industry, Swinton is committed to keeping its branches open for business, and part of the community -- Swinton provides a one-stop-shop for the insurance and related needs of its clients, offering home, car, taxi, caravan, business, holiday, motorbike and even classic car insurance -- With a dedicated team on hand at every branch to search a panel of insurers to offer quality cover at competitive rates
Mairead Rodden or Lucy Gordon
0161 838 7770