NEWS: Erdington’s Star Cars win national award for community support during Covid and Commonwealth Games

Pics supplied by Star Cars

Erdington taxi firm Star Cars have won a national award for their work helping the community and the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic and Commonwealth Games.

On 15 November, Star Cars beat taxi firms across the UK and Ireland to win the Community Award at the annual Dotted Taxi Summit UK and Ireland Industry Awards – held in Liverpool.

The Chester Road based company were also shortlisted for UK Taxi Company of the Year.

Martin Walker, Operations Manager for Star Cars, said: “We were thrilled to be nominated and shortlisted in two categories: UK Taxi Company of the Year, and the Community Award.

“We won the Community Award for our Covid response, NHS support, our support for charities, and the work we did on the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

“We were very proud of Umar, one of our executive drivers, who personally took care of Ozzy Osbourne’s transport during the (CWG) closing ceremony.”

He added: “We took staff, drivers, and owners to the awards in Liverpool where we shared the celebration. It was a great night for us and for Erdington and Birmingham.”

The celebrations were all the more poignant with the widow of late Star Cars boss Grahame Markham joining the team at the November awards ceremony.

Martin told: “We were delighted to have Jaqueline Markham, one of our directors with us.

“She is the wife of the late Grahame Markham, who always wanted Star to be a community focussed family business – always innovating for the benefit of customers, passengers, drivers, and staff.”

Founded in the 1960’s, Grahame Markham took over the firm in the 1980’s – which is now run by his widow Jaqueline, and daughter Emma. Star Cars’ community based ethos still carries on in the company to this day.

Even with the current cost of living crisis and spike in fuel costs, Star Cars provide a fixed-price service for elderly and disabled people.

During the height of the Covid pandemic, the Erdington firm ran errands for regular customers free of charge and were even known to have delivered a portion of fish and chips or two.

They support local charities, the nearby Erdington Court Bowls Club, junior league football teams, food banks, supported living homes, and disabled groups.

Star Cars also have a special association with The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.

Martin Walker added: “We decided to sponsor our very own seeing-eye dog, ‘Star’, and visited the Association’s national breeding centre to meet him.

“While at the centre, we learnt of the problems that blind people face when trying to use taxis.

“After our trip, we decided to find a way to better serve visually impaired people in the taxi industry. We now offer braille ID in all of our vehicles and on driver ID cards.

“We also organised training for our drivers, in an effort to make blind people feel as comfortable as possible using our services.”

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