Gemma Taphouse, left, and Maria Partridge cropGemma Taphouse, left, and Maria Partridge crop

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Autoglym recognises Mazda dealership worker who went above and beyond during Covid pandemic

  • Gemma Taphouse is named Autoglym LifeShine Hero
  • Norton Way Mazda parts manager went above and beyond to help customers in lockdown
  • Awards mark out people who ‘put some shine back into someone’s life’

Time 8:11 am, February 2, 2022

A Mazda dealership employee has been named a hero after she went above and beyond in helping customers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

During lockdown, Gemma Taphouse put people first, even going as far as driving a battery out to a stranded customer who had an urgent need for their transport, and by prioritising and helping key workers to stay on the road.

She has now been named as Autoglym’s LifeShine Hero for 2022.


Taphouse, who is parts manager at the Norton Way Mazda dealership in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, was presented with a certificate and a Virgin Experience Days Voucher worth £150 by Ellen Duffin, business development manager at Autoglym.

Kevin Sansum, former business development director for Norton Way, nominated Taphouse, saying: ‘Gemma worked through Covid, as did many, but the way she adapted and helped customers during that time was amazing.

‘Be it taking a battery to a stranded customer some miles away, arranging loan cars for customers who had broken down and were key workers, or assisting in serving them with general maintenance, she stepped up every time – and none of it was too much trouble.’

LifeShine Heroes is a celebration of employees working at LifeShine registered dealerships, who, according to Autoglym, ‘have put a bit of shine back into someone’s life, either professionally or personally, recognising the great and the good people of UK Automotive’.


Receiving the award, which she intends to cash in for a hard-earned spa day, Taphouse said: ‘It came as a huge surprise for me to receive the award and I have to thank some of the truly lovely customers and – of course – Kevin for nominating me.

‘I’ll always do my best to help anyone who comes to the dealership, but this was an incredible gesture and I’m absolutely thrilled.’

Maria Partridge, Autoglym marketing manager, added: ‘We’ve all faced some tough challenges in the past two years, but throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and one of the toughest economic periods in living memory, there are a number of people who have gone above and beyond to make life better for others

‘Gemma is a shining example of the many people in our industry who have really stepped up during tough times and we are delighted to reward her efforts.’

Pictured are Gemma Taphouse, left, and Autoglym business development manager Ellen Duffin

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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