Recognising a need within the community, Michael Morgan is teaching people, for free, how to maintain and fix their cars.

by Rebecca Mugridge

You know a town has character and heart when locals get to know the people behind the businesses, and the business supports the community. Michael Morgan from Bridgestone is a perfect example of this symbiotic relationship.

“Nambour is a great community,  but If you do something wrong, they’ll tell yah,” Michael laughed. “But they will also tell you if you do something right and then they’ll tell everyone else as well. They support you.”

When Michael came to work in Nambour he fell in love with the people and the community spirit. Motivated and inspired by this, he wanted to give back.

An idea came to Michael that a lot of people only learn to drive, they don’t actually learn how their car works or how to look after it.

“I saw a few posts on Facebook of people that had flat tyres and didn’t really know what to do, and when the kids first get their cars they don’t really get taught what to do.”

So, he put out the feelers on a community board and was quickly surrounded by great interest.  The first free ‘get to know your car’ workshop was created. 

“We didn’t want to go really big with the first one, I think we offered around 15 places. We had a couple of car reps and went right through how to get the spare out of the boot, how to jack the car, how to check the oil, check your water, what a good tyre looks like, what is safe and what a bad tyre looks like and why it is dangerous,” Michael said.

“We even put a car up on the hoist as many had never seen the underneath of a car before. We got really positive feedback from that, it actually worked out really well.

“The whole night was really good, and we had a lot of feedback from people wanting another one. We had teenagers not long driving, mums, all sorts of people.”

The night was such a success that Michael is planning to hold the free workshops regularly. Along with giving people confidence and knowledge, it is also about helping more people be safer on the roads. With the current tragic high road tolls for Queensland, it is something all drivers should pause a minute to consider.

What you drive matters, believes Michael. “We see some bad things come in, some tyres so dangerous that my first thought is my family is out on the road driving around too, and people are out there on these tyres. 

“And at the end of the day, it’s endangering that person and it is also endangering everyone else out there. Especially with lots of rain, the roads can become very slippery. Many don’t realise their tyres are unsafe and some might be just willing to risk it, but it’s not just them it affects, everyone else out on the road is at risk too.

“The more people we can make more aware of what is safe, the better it is for them and everyone.”

They say after your home, your car is your greatest and most used asset. It is your transport and often your pride and joy, so learning more about it and how it works is proving popular indeed.

But he didn’t just stop there. Michael had more ideas to bring to life.

He wanted to bring some incredible invaluable knowledge and experience through the store. “I have lots of ideas, so it is always good to put one into practice.”

They decided to have a go at hiring some grey-haired nomad/retired guys with expertise. 

“We have a couple of them working for us now. One day we thought, what about hiring a couple of the blokes casually that are retired and really know their stuff.”

“We put up a post on Facebook and everyone loved it!

“We have four shops on the Coast, and we got so much interest we were able to put retired people in each shop, we have a couple here at Nambour. 

“It works out so well, as these guys don’t want too many hours, they want that flexibility, they might do a couple of days a week, but also go away now and then.

“They are very, very good at the old cars. And we do get a lot of them. The younger people don’t really know about the older cars and at the same time the older people don’t always know about the younger cars, electric vehicles and so on we get in so it all works out really well. 

“The younger guys learn a lot from them too, as these older guys just have so much knowledge. We say to our young apprentices, listen to these people, because what they say is invaluable.”

Find out more about the FREE car workshops/learning about cars by giving them a call, Bridgestone Nambour on 54411444 or by visiting them at 1 Price Street, Nambour. 

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