This was the special moment a popular Reading cleaner found out just how much he means to his colleagues at Thames Water.
After thieves stole Agnelo Da Costa’s moped - forcing him to cycle 45 minutes to work in freezing conditions – staff at the company’s operations centre at Kemble Court, in Green Park, set up a Go Fund Me page to buy him a new one after his insurance company refused to pay out.
And in a show of extraordinary generosity, 119 employees donated almost £1,200 in just a week, smashing their target of £1,000. Agnelo, known as Angel, who had no idea what colleagues were up to, was left overwhelmed and speechless when he was presented with the cheque at Kemble Court on Monday night.
Struggling to contain his emotion, he said simply: "Thank you very much everybody."
Gary O’Donoghue, operational control duty manager at Kemble Court, said: “Everybody knows Agnelo but we all call him Angel because of his beautiful nature, his smile and his compassion for everyone he meets.
“The thieves who stole his moped caused pain and anguish to someone we all care about and, as a result, he had to start cycling to and from work. One day I saw him, soaking wet, pumping up his tyre after suffering a puncture.
“At this point I realised it would be a wonderful thing to support this man who looks after us all. This led to amazing people from Kemble Court creating a fund-raising campaign. After just a week a total of 119 people had donated £1,160 so Angel can get himself a new moped and make life easier for himself and those around him he cares for.”
Angel lives in Reading and cares for his elderly mum when he’s not working. He has been a cleaner for Thames Water for eight years, three years at Rose Kiln Court and five years at Kemble Court. He also has two children who live in India.
Suzi Lauri, operational customer manager at Kemble Court, who set up the Go Fund Me page, said: “I’m overwhelmed and proud of the support we received. Angel is a genuinely lovely member of the Thames Water family.”