A little boy who has a fascination with the garbage truck that visits his street has received an unexpected treat for his fourth birthday.
Driver David Roworth, a 39-year veteran of the Lake Macquarie City Council waste management team, struck up a friendship with Lincoln Hill last year after he noticed the boy was a big fan of his work.
Lincoln’s mum Cheryl takes up the story.
“As soon as Lincoln hears the truck coming down the other side of the street he tears out the front,” she said.
“Then he rushes inside to get his own toy garbage trucks and lines them up on the veranda or along the driveway as he waits for the garbage man to come back up the street to our house."
Mr Roworth started giving Lincoln a wave, and a toot of the horn, then occasionally began stopping to say hello.
Their relationship grew to the point where Lincoln recently invited Mr Roworth to his fourth birthday party. While Mr Roworth couldn’t make it, he did bring a special gift for his little mate the following week – a toy garbage truck, to add to Lincoln’s fleet.
Lincoln’s mum Cheryl said her son was rapt to find the gift when he arrived home from a string of doctors’ appointments.
The little boy has faced a lot of medical challenges in his short life, and Cheryl said his friendship with Mr Roworth had been a bright spot in her son’s life.
For Mr Roworth, the rewards are mutual.
“He’s obviously right into his garbage trucks, so to be able to make a little bloke happy like that is a good thing to do,” he said.
“Lincoln’s had a bit of a rough trot, so if I can make his day a bit special, then that’s great.”
Cheryl is thrilled by the positive impact Mr Roworth has had on Lincoln’s life.
“It is such a testament to Lake Macquarie City Council that it employs such great workers who are genuinely compassionate and love doing what they can for the community,” she said.
David Brake, council’s waste operations group coordinator, echoed Cheryl’s sentiments.
“It is wonderful to get such positive feedback,” he said.
“It is employees like David, who go that extra mile, who reinforce our reputation as a customer-focused organisation.”