Little Jacob, 4, meets his heroes for surprise birthday treat

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Most four-year-olds would probably name a sports star or their favourite cartoon character among their childhood heroes.

But for little Jacob Hamilton, his heroes are the men who empty and collect the bins from outside his Loundsley Green home in Chesterfield.

From the age of one, the Brockwell Nursery and Infant School pupil has had an obsession with bin lorries.

And on Saturday (May 20), Jacob’s dream came true when he was paid a visit by the bin men from Veolia as a special birthday surprise.

Jacob’s mum, Hayley, 29, of Gower Crescent, said: “He was star struck.

“He got to sit in the lorry and he absolutely loved it.

“To him they are his heroes.”

Jacob, who has a younger brother and sister, wants to be a bin man when he grows up and he owns about 20 toy lorries and bins.

The bin men always speak to him and tell him about their job - bringing a big smile to Jacob’s face,

It was after a recent visit that Hayley decided to send Veolia an email thanking the bin men for making such a special effort with her son.

A few days later the company got back in touch and arranged to surprise Jacob on Saturday, the day before his fourth birthday.

“They turned up on Saturday with a bin lory and brought him a jacket and a hat,” Hayley told the Derbyshire Times.

“He wakes up everyday now wearing his jacket and hat.

“It has made his year never mind his birthday.”

Shane Atkins, contract manager at Veolia, said: “It was a pleasure to surprise Jacob and the whole team hopes he had a great birthday.

“Each week he waves as the truck goes by and when his mum emailed to say thank you and told us it was his birthday it just seemed like a nice idea.

“We pulled together a little goodie bag and a copy of Munch and the Funny Tummy – a book written by Veolia operatives – so he can keep learning about recycling and waste. And we hope he had fun.

“It’s really encouraging to see a young person so excited about what we do and in a few years’ time we think he’ll make a great member of our team.”

Councillor Chris Ludlow, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Jacob’s mum Hayley contacted us through our Facebook page with a lovely message of thanks for the bin crew.

“Bin crews go out in all weathers to provide a high quality service for the residents of Chesterfield so it was touching to get such nice comments.

“We put the family in touch with our contractor Veolia who collect the bins on our behalf and I’m pleased that they were able to make Jacob’s birthday a special one.

“We hope to see Jacob working for us on the bins when he grows up.”