A Wigan electrician is in with a chance of being named tradesman of the year out of thousands of applicants.
Karl Mather, who trades as KDM Electrical, has been selected as one of the North West’s regional finalists out of more than 5,000 contenders.
The 36-year-old from Goose Green will now compete for the national honour to be in with a chance of becoming Britain’s Top Tradesperson 2017, organised by Screwfix.
Karl thinks his dedication to his customers and positive spirit help him stand out from the crowd.
He said: “I served in the armed forces for four years, and then started working as an electrician following in the footsteps of my dad. I even used to go on to sites with him when I was just 11.”
Karl added: “As well as being an electrician, I like to do what I can to help others out. During the recession, I nearly lost everything, and there were a lot of people who helped me get back on my feet.
“I have never forgotten that so I always try and give something back to the community, such as helping out local homeless charities by offering my services. I know how it feels to be struggling and how the simplest gesture can change someone’s entire look on things.”
In January, the Observer told the story of one of Karl’s “simple” gestures to an elderly couple who were struggling financially.
Karl was praised for his heartwarming offer of paying for their new heating system after realising they couldn’t afford it.
The unnamed couple in their 80s faced Christmas in the cold after their heating broke, until kind-hearted Karl went out of his way, twice, to make sure they would have a comfortable winter.
He replaced the pensioners’ 30-year-old heaters free of charge upon discovering they had little money to pay for it, and even paid for the new heaters out of his own pocket.
Following a series of intense interviews and panels last weekend at Screwfix Stockport, Karl will find out his fate in early July.
“(The heats) went really well,” Karl said.
“Even if I go no further, this has been phenomenal. Just to get this far has been amazing.”