A personal trainer who has spent lockdown driving hundreds of miles every day to deliver food parcels to those in need during the coronavirus pandemic has been praised for his work.
Mike Hind, who has been training people in Teesside for over 12 years and has been recognised as one of the most respected and renowned coaches in the UK with numerous awards, had to temporarily close his gym earlier this year when lockdown restrictions were put in place.
However, he kept his food supply business open, Macro Based Diner, and using the profits from this, he has delivered more than 2,500 food parcels and emergency supplies to key workers, families, the elderly and those self-isolating across the region, with the help of his 10 staff.
Each food parcel has around £30-worth of food including bread, milk, fruit, vegetables, tinned food, rice, pasta, sweets and supplies to make quick meals for those with limited cooking ability or who have been unable to eat that day.
Each day, Mike and his team would visit a cash and carry to buy essential food to distribute that day.
Those in need of urgent supplies would be able to request a food parcel on his website, and his team would spend the day going to homes across the region delivering the parcels.
The team would travel more than 200 miles every day delivering the parcels. On one occasion, Mike and his son drove to Rotherham and back at 10.30pm to deliver an emergency parcel to a man who had not had a substantial meal for a whole week.
To recognise Mike for his work, mayor Ben Houchen presented him with a Tees Valley Business Hero Award, which was set up to recognise local businesses in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool who have gone above and beyond to help other during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mayor Houchen asked people to nominate businesses who have been working hard to keep our communities connected, delivering much needed supplies and supporting front line services, and he has been inundated with nominations praising the work Mike has done.
Mike, who had to invest in a second van to cope with the demand, said he has been “blown away” by the response, having received praise from all around the world, including as far as America, for his work.
He said: “I was blown away to get this award and to get the most votes. I showed Ben around the gym and at the end he pulled out the award. I had no idea.
“I had seen Ben’s Facebook campaign about the Business Hero Awards and had been tagged in it by someone, but I haven’t had the time to read what it was all about. It’s been mental, so it came as a complete shock.
“The letters of thanks I have received and the messages from people who have actually gone out of their way to write something in detail has absolutely blown my mind – I know for a big lad like me I shouldn’t get emotional, but the response from people has been amazing.
“This isn’t just about me. The whole team has worked so hard. I’ve met people I never would have met before, such as a 98-year-old. She would never have come to the gym, so it has been great to be able to help people like that.
“Teesside can get a bad reputation sometimes, but we have been able to put our area on the map during this difficult time with the wonderful work we all do and the wonderful people we have in this area.”
Mayor Houchen said: “Since launching the Tees Valley Business Hero Awards, I have been inundated with messages from people telling me about Mike and the amazing work he has done. He has been the standout winner and I can’t think of a better recipient for this first award.
“This isn’t about thanks from me, this is thanks from all the people across the region who Mike has helped during the coronavirus people. There have been families and people self-isolating who haven’t been able to leave the house and have needed urgent food, and thanks to the wonderful work he and his team has done, they have been able to get the supplies they need.
“We all need to support local businesses as much as we can as we recover from the coronavirus pandemic, and I urge everyone who can to pay Mike a visit. He’s one of our own who has done incredible things to help people across Teesside and beyond, so he deserves our support.
“The generosity and dedication Mike has shown throughout this period and the sacrifices he has made both personally and in a business sense to make sure that others were supported in their time of need is inspiring to us all.”