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FREE NOW shines the spotlight on real-life hero cab drivers changing and saving lives

Updated: Dec 18, 2022

Image credit: FREE NOW

From saving a pensioner’s life to becoming a lifeline for kids with autism, a new campaign from FREE NOW is shining a light on the real-life superhero taxi and private hire drivers (PHV) keeping London safe.

Featuring drivers from FREE NOW’s network, the Christmas campaign ‘Everyday Heroes’ is now live on FREE NOW’s social channels, including Instagram and Twitter – telling the life-changing and life-saving stories of four hero drivers who have each gone above and beyond in the course of their job.

This includes the story of Mark Radley, 58, a cab driver for 20 years, who helped save the life of a pensioner who suffered a heart attack in the back of his cab. Inspired by the British Heart Foundation advert, in which Vinnie Jones performs CPR to the tune of Staying Alive, Radley helped keep the man alive until the ambulance arrived. The London cabbie was the one who had to tell the man’s son what had happened; he accompanied the man’s wife to the hospital and was later reunited with the family, where he learned the pensioner’s fate.

“I didn’t know if he had survived the heart attack or not,” says Radley. “I went and met the family the next day, not knowing whether the man was alive or not but thank god they got him through. If the wife got a few more years with her husband, then I’ve done my job. Just another day in a cabbie’s world.”

The Christmas Heroes campaign also tells the tale of 39-year-old private hire driver Jon Hal, who rescued a stranded mother from Stansted Airport, and helped her get to her sister’s wedding on time when all other taxi services refused to take her due to the long distance.

Fellow FREE NOW driver, Muhammad Faizan, 21, tells of how a chance interaction with a single mum and her autistic son in the back of his taxi has now seen Faizan become a driver to a child named Rio. Faizan ensures Rio gets safely to school and back home every day, assisting him every step of the way and preparing him for independence when he is older. While 37-year-old Fazlu Meah’s tale of helping a vulnerable blind woman and her guide dog get home safely is the fourth hero London driver featured in FREE NOW’s festive campaign.

Mariusz Zabrocki, General Manager UK at FREE NOW, said: “Every day, FREE NOW drivers help people in cities across the UK and Europe get to work, attend appointments, meet up with friends and connect with loved ones. This year alone, black cab and private hire drivers have travelled more than 38 million miles with FREE NOW passengers. They’re lifelines for so many of us and through our Everyday Heroes campaign, we want to shine a light on these often unsung heroes by hearing the stories of drivers who have changed the lives of passengers and their families, all in a cab driver’s day’s work.”

In addition, as part of this campaign, FREE NOW is also supporting the Cabbies Do Atlantic Row. This challenge will see London cab drivers Daren Parr, Bob Barber and Stuart Lockhart attempt to row the Atlantic from Lanzarote to Antigua, a 60-day journey, in 2023 to raise funds for a number of key humanitarian projects. These include the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, The Stroke Association and a Tanzanian Orphanage near Arusha. All three cab drivers have completed eight months of training to set them up for the challenge, which will be mentally and physically demanding. Contributions to this project can be made via GoFundMe.


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