Stowmarket mobile valeting and detailing firm offers free car washes to emergency workers
A husband and wife team who launched a mobile valeting and detailing company shortly before the coronavirus pandemic are offering free car washes for emergency workers.
Ben and Terri’s IceGleam started in February and business was starting to take off but has fallen since the lockdown.
In order to make use of their equipment, they decided to give free car washes to thank emergency workers on the frontline during the pandemic.
Ben Annis, of Stowmarket, who runs the business with his wife Terri, said: “Since the lockdown came into effect business has dropped a bit.
“We’ve got a van sitting there with all the equipment not doing anything. We thought, what can we do?
“We put an ad on our Facebook page offering free car washes for emergency personnel and NHS workers.
“We just wanted to give something back really. We’ve got the means to do something.
“It was what can we do to contribute in some way to thank all the people who are doing the hard work.”
Among those taking up the offer have been nurses and police officers.
“It’s been really good,” Mr Annis said. “Everyone we meet has been really positive and people have said what a great thing we’re doing.
"It's become popular."
The 32-year-old has been involved in valeting through various jobs for the last eight to 10 years and decided to set up his own business.
He trained Terri, who he married last November, how to use the equipment and their name and logo is inspired by Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.
The business took off quicker than they thought it would after securing a couple of contracts before coronavirus struck.
“We don’t get any Government support because you have to have two or three years of tax returns,” Mr Annis said.
“We’re not eligible for the self employed help - all we get is universal credit which doesn’t pay the rent.
“We’ve had the odd customer here and there but we’re struggling because we put thousands of pounds into the van and all the equipment and then the lockdown happened and our income went.
“We’re hoping once this is over people will remember the company that sounded a bit like the ice cream.”
Visit https://www.facebook.com/BTIceGleam/ or find them on Instagram at @ben_terris_icegleam
More by this authorPaul Derrick