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Nanu spreads his ‘nice to be nice’ message
Friday 1st March 2019 @ 11:26 by Lee Wild
Ashton Dukinfield News

A bus driver from Ashton is spreading the message that it’s ‘nice to be nice’ after helping out a special school in Dukinfield.

Nanu Patel is well known to many throughout Tameside thanks to his charitable
actions on social media. His shoebox appeal at Christmas time bought joy to many and he was touched by the generosity of staff and students from Cromwell who put together over 20 donations.

To repay their kindness, he’s gifted the school 10 new bikes, four sensory lamps and a host of toys to say thank you for their donation. 

Nanu explained: “I didn’t expect them to do 20 odd or 30 odd and food donations and hampers, they were fantastic. As I was leaving, I always make a promise to myself that if you help me I’ll help you.

“Marie (Cromwell teaching assistant) asked me for one lamp and I said is that it? I said I’m not Santa Claus, I’m not Richard Branson but I can pull a few strings.

“When I was outside I was watching the kids and I was thinking why are they not out here in the fresh air?

“I told Marie I’d see her after Christmas. I don’t think she expected me to come back but I rang and said be ready at 11 o’clock.

“I turned up with 10 brand new bikes, four sensory lamps, a load of touchy toys. As soon as the kids saw it they were on it. If you see their faces light up when they get on those bikes, I’d accomplished what I’d set out to do – to get them out and smiling.”

Numerous individuals and businesses contributed funds to help buy the gifts for the
children, including large donations from homeless people in Tameside.

In association with Greystones and Pauline Town at the Station Hotel, some of those with the least in society donated what they could to help spread Nanu’s message. 

He said: “The magic of this was I approached Scott and Greystones and said let’s get the homeless people to say they’re part of this. They raised £60. Pauline Town – she straight away gave me the money. She’d got people that are homeless involved. As a human being – whatever part of life or level you’re at – you’re all entitled to the same feeling of helping. You can help each other.”

It’s all part of his life philosophy – helping out his community. The idea originally came to him a few years ago at Christmas. 

“Nice to be nice is something I made up in my mind to do moons ago. It started at Christmas when my wife asked what I wanted. I didn’t want anything for Christmas, I’ve already got everything. I just thought, we’re in a good place let’s start helping others.

Nanu’s giving has grown and grown and he now has a dedicated team of friends and well-wishers that help him transform lives throughout Tameside. 

“It’s not a pound in a box and then you don’t know where it goes – it’s an idea, an ideology I’ve got that says if you’re going to help someone, take it to the final bit.

“Don’t just say I’ll put a pound in that box, actually go and buy the socks and give them to the homeless man. Go and treat someone, buy them dinner. Say hello to someone, smile at someone and wait for their reaction. If there’s someone sat on the floor you don’t walk past them, you don’t have to give them something but just acknowledge them and their humanity, just be nice to people.”

Nanu loves making a difference in the community and strives to meet as many people as he can and says it’s something he’d love to do more of.

“I wish I could do this everyday, if there’s
anyone out there that wants to sponsor me to do this everyday feel free to do it. I drive buses for a living – I love my job don’t get me wrong – but to do the everyday is an amazing feeling.

“If I was a millionaire this is what I’d be doing.”

Nanu can’t do it all on his own, and relies on his magnetic personality to bring people together to help achieve his goals.

“I just happen to be the glue between people who can do things and get things,” he added.

“It’s not an easy thing – it’s a lot of planning – but any time you want to do something, anything, plan it and make sure it’s right because the people that are giving have a right to know where it’s going to.

“You want to help someone, find out why! Are you there for the glory, the buzz? I’m there for the buzz, I don’t need no glory, you’ve got to experience that.

“You can’t fall out with people if they can’t help, that’s the magic. 

“If they can great, if you can’t – just be part of it, even if you share it on Facebook.”