Praise for Sunderland locksmith who helped out city mosque free of charge during coronavirus pandemic

A locksmith has shown how a community can help one another after giving a mosque a free helping hand.

Thursday, 30th April 2020, 10:10 am
Updated Thursday, 30th April 2020, 8:37 pm

Paul Fletcher, of Sea Road-based Fletcher Locksmith & Safe Co, was contacted by the Sunderland Central Mosque on Chester Road when officials found themselves shut out by a faulty lock.

The premises are closed due to coronavirus, but access is still required. Worshippers are praying from home, but they are doing so with the help of a broadcast from the mosque.

Paul, 44, has been annoyed by stories of businesses profiteering from lockdown and was keen to show that there are still some good guys.

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Locksmith Paul Fletcher with his son and colleague Layton outside the Chester Road mosque where he donated his services for free.

He not only helped by attending to the problem and cutting new keys, he didn’t charge a penny for what should have been around £100 of work. Emergency locksmiths are classed as essential workers.

Paul said: “They rang us and said they were really struggling to get in and out of the mosque. It’s closed because of the coronavirus, but they still needed access, so I helped them out.

“I cut them an extra couple of keys as well. I’ve cut a few free keys for nurses as well. Hopefully I’ll get something back when things are back to normal.

“I’ve been reading about ‘rip-off locksmiths’ charging a fortune for little jobs. I don’t want it to be people’s minds that we’re all like that. I’m doing my bit.

“I can’t afford to do everything free. But I’m offering discounts to care homes too. Apparently there are some blessings coming my way. I’m not religious myself, but blessings sound nice.”

Paul runs the business with his dad John Fletcher, 72 and son Layton, 20.

Abdur Rouf, a former secretary of the mosque is very grateful and appreciates Paul’s efforts during such a trying time for small businesses.

He said: “I’ve known Paul for a while. We had a problem with a lock at the mosque. He came out and didn’t take any money, because it’s a mosque and because it’s Ramadan.

“He’s really kind person and a very nice guy.”

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