Ex-Wrightbus worker ‘amazed’ by kindness of strangers

Jim McMaster and his teenage daughter Rachael
Jim McMaster and his teenage daughter Rachael

An ex-Wrightbus worker said he has been “taken aback” by the generosity of complete strangers who offered him invaluable support after he lost his job at the firm.

Jim McMaster was one of 1,200 people made redundant when the Ballymena bus manufacturer collapsed into administration last week.

Speaking to the News Letter earlier this week, the 46-year-old revealed the devastating personal impact the loss of his career is having him and his family.

The Kells man, who now lives in Craigavon, has been struggling for years to pay for his 13-year-old daughter Rachael to attend gymnastics training and competitions.

Jim has been determined to nurture her talent and help her realise her dream of one day competing in the Olympics. But with the sudden loss of his income plunging him into financial turmoil, Jim fears his daughter would be forced to quit the sport she loves.

“I need a miracle,” he said on Monday.

In the wake of his plea, a number of people have come forward to offer their assistance in keeping Rachael’s dream alive, and also in helping Jim secure a new job.

One Ballymena man has offered to set up a Just Giving fundraising page for Rachael, and has also pointed Jim in the direction of a number of potential sponsorship options.

Meanwhile, another woman has offered to assist Jim by helping him to write a CV free of charge.

She told the News Letter: “I have helped numerous people by writing a CV for them. All have got new jobs within a fortnight. I don’t charge for this service as I get great satisfaction just from helping others.”

Expressing his gratitude for the offers of assistance, Jim said: “I am just taken aback and amazed by the kindness of strangers. This has made me think, when I do find my feet and new employment I want to look into helping others, people that I’ve never met and need a helping hand, because it really does make the world a better place.

“I feel so much better knowing that there are good people out there willing to help others and give up their free time.”