Big-hearted Mercedes Van Sales Manager John Wadey is off-loading the pounds to raise money for charity.
And one of the first to offer a sizeable donation if he achieves his 20-stone target is Peter Lambert, Van Sales & Marketing Director for Mercedes Benz in the UK, who hopes his support will encourage others to back the campaign.
Known as ‘Big John’ to everyone in Mercedes Benz circles, John works for Sittingbourne-based dealer Sparshatts of Kent.
He currently tips the scales at just over 30 stone but has begun a strict diet and exercise regime, with the aim of losing a third of his body weight by the middle of next year.
Sparshatts customers and staff are being invited to sponsor him, with all money raised going to Macmillan Cancer Relief and the NSPCC – two charities close to his heart.
John’s wife Carolyne is a nurse and together the couple have helped to set up the Searchlight and Megazone youth clubs at Christ Church United Reformed Church, in their home town of Swanley.
"These are two great charities and being sponsored keeps me focused on losing weight," says John. "I used to be very fit in my teens and 20s when I did powerlifting and other sports, so I am confident that I can get back into shape.
"I’ve started a sensible diet and exercise plan, nothing too dramatic," he continues. "I am extremely grateful to Peter Lambert for his support and to customers who have also offered to sponsor me. Anyone who wants to back the campaign can contact me at Sparshatts to make a pledge."
John is a well-known figure on the Mercedes Benz truck and van circuit, having developed an entertaining sideline as an ‘MC’ at promotional events. He has also made a light-hearted training video on sales techniques.
His arrival at Sparshatts last year represents a return to the truck world for a man who once ran his own haulage company, transporting paper products. He moved into van sales with Iveco before joining the three-pointed star.
Peter Lambert declares: "John is a smashing guy and a first rate van sales manager, who recently won a national award for his performance, both with Sparshatts and his previous Mercedes dealership.
"It is typical of him to use his slimming regime as an opportunity to raise money for deserving causes. He certainly has my backing and I hope that others will also offer him their support."Published 21 June 2003