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Inverness family given free car by taxi firm

By Gregor White

Paul, Aiden and Sarah MacLennan get the keys to the car from Inverness Taxis' Wojciech Kobialka (left) and Gavin Johnston.
Paul, Aiden and Sarah MacLennan get the keys to the car from Inverness Taxis' Wojciech Kobialka (left) and Gavin Johnston.

A Culloden mother has promised to learn to drive in the new year after she was given the keys to a car by Inverness Taxis.

The MacLennan family, of Fir Place, was nominated for the prize through the firm’s social media channels by people who felt they deserved the life-changing Christmas present.

Inverness Taxis had previously announced their wish to see the vehicle – and a host of other free treats – go to a local family in need.

Tragically Sara and Paul MacLennan lost their 20-month-old daughter last month to cancer and were overwhelmed by the gesture.

Mrs MacLennan, a 33-year-old former dinner lady, said it was nice to know that people had been thinking of them and added: “I couldn’t believe it – stuff like that doesn’t normally happen to us. I am very grateful for it. It’s a nice thing to do at this time of year.”

Their daughter, Jessi Jean, died at Glasgow’s Royal Hospital For Children on November 25 after a short battle with kidney cancer.

Jessi Jean MacLennan.
Jessi Jean MacLennan.

Mrs MacLennan said learning to drive was something she had been meaning to do for a while and added: “It’s something to focus on – it will keep me busy.”

As well as the former taxi, a Peugeot Partner, the family were given a turkey hamper, tickets for this year’s Eden Court panto, Beauty and the Beast, and also a family pass for Landmark forest adventure park in Carrbridge.

Mrs MacLennan said her two children, 11-year-old Aidan and eight-year-old Lacey, would appreciate the tickets. She added it was a nice way to remember Jessi Jean.

Mr MacLennan said he was surprised when he heard they had won and added: “I didn’t even know they’d nominated us. It’s really good that businesses are doing things like this.”

Gavin Johnston, the managing director of the taxi firm, said he hoped the vehicle gave them some enjoyment and added: “To be honest I don’t feel it is much considering what they have gone through.”

The idea to give away the car, which was being retired from taxi duty, came after the business enjoyed a good year and the drivers wanted to give something back.

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