Pride of Plumbing: Greg Roe’s story

Over the past six months we’ve been scouring the nation to find the best stories the industry has to offer for our Pride of Plumbing campaign. After tonnes of nominations and a rigorous judging process, we’re now excited to announce our first showcase story.

Greg Roe, owner of GR Heating and Plumbing Services, was put forward for Pride of Plumbing 2021 anonymously because he went above and beyond for his staff and customers during the pandemic. From helping out at a local Nightingale hospital to risking his own health by making sure a new mother with Covid had heating and hot water, he’s been a local hero.

Greg Roe

Here’s what Greg’s nominator had to say:

“When the pandemic hit, Greg furloughed his staff in order to try to protect them from Covid. He topped up the Government’s furlough contribution so everyone received 100 percent of their wage. On top of the usual jobs and emergency call outs that he was now taking on himself, he put himself forward to help build the nightingale hospital at Washington in the North East, working 12 hours days including weekends. Not once did I hear him complain or moan, he just rolled up his sleeves and got on with it.

“One standout job Greg worked on involved replacing a failed boiler plant at a local comprehensive school to make the children of the key workers could continue their education. However, due to lockdown a screwing machine could not be hired so he took the decision to cut the threads into the steel pipe work by hand, rather than bring his staff back and put them at risk. Greg is a person who genuinely cares for his customers, for his industry and for his staff.”

We met up with Greg to hear more about his story, here’s what he had to say about being selected for Pride of Plumbing:

“I just went to work, that’s what I do. I enjoy my job, I love my job and looking back, I feel like I contributed in a small way, but nowhere near what some people did.”

We also learnt more about Greg’s experience working at the Nightingale hospital, with Greg explaining:

“I was doing the medical airlines, which is something that I’ve never done before, and had to use special medical grade copper. There were 11 kilometres of pipe that went in purely for the medical lines, which was quite an achievement really. But it was a really good group of people working on it – very focused, very determined and we just want to get the job done.”

But that wasn’t the only time Greg went over and beyond during the pandemic, we learnt more about how he helped a young mother and her baby in the middle of lockdown:

“I got a phone call from the estate agent who we had done quite a bit of repair work for. They had a tenant, I think the baby was only the six months old, and her and her boyfriend had both been confirmed with Covid but they had no heating or hot water. Just getting the PPE at the time was going to be a challenge. So, we took all the precautions, opened all the doors and windows, and it turned out to be a blocked condensate but I manged to get it going. You can’t really leave an infant without heating or hot water, especially under six months they can’t regulate their own body temperature. So, it was more of a more of a moral obligation than anything else, I think?”

We then spoke to Greg’s office manager, Heather, to see what his support over the past year has meant to the team. Heather said:

“Greg paid the difference in the furloughs, the government said they would pay 80 percent under the job retention scheme, but Greg kindly made up the difference with the additional 20 percent. That’s something that not a lot of other employers would have done. But as an employee, that also made me feel very valued and that Greg appreciated what we did to try and drive the business (GR Heating and Plumbing Services) forward. That meant a lot more on a personal level. He didn’t do it for kind of any publicity or any well done, he did it because in his mind, it was the right thing to do – and that is the difference.

That’s potentially why Greg has been nominated, because he has genuine pride and is so passionate about what he does. It’s what sets him aside from everyone else; his customers, they see the passion and they see that pride.”

There are three more showcase stories to come, so keep an eye out on the Hep2O social channel

for the announcements.