A long-serving Metro driver who became a qualified chaplain and devoted himself to providing pastoral care to his colleagues has retired after more than three decades of service.
Michael Bushby, who has been driving Metro trains since 1990, became a chaplain in 2008 and has spent the years since combining the two roles.
And it was all achieved after beating cancer in 2013 and successfully returning to work.
Michael is a popular figure among his colleagues, and in the wider community he has served through the Newcastle city centre chaplaincy. He drove the first Metro train on the Sunderland extension of the network when it opened in 2002.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, said he would be a big miss, and that he had brought warmth, compassion, and empathy to his two roles.
His time as a Metro driver saw him become a train crew assessor, and through that he has helped countless new drivers to pass the training course.
Michael, of Felling in Gateshead, said: “I leave with a heavy heart because I've had a great career with Metro.
“I was diagnosed with an incurable form of cancer in 2013 but I was determined to beat it and get back to work. I managed to do that in just two years. I know my condition has to be managed so I feel now is the right time for me to retire.
“I’ve always been there for people through my role as a chaplain and have provided support to many colleagues during challenging times.
“I have offered personal help to drivers who have struggled with bereavement or other private matters. It's been a privilege to reach out and support people in the city centre. I have served in various retail and business sites throughout the city offering welfare support and pastoral care.”
Michael, who is married and has two daughters, added: “I've enjoyed the journey with Metro. I have made some great friends and worked with some very special people. I've worn the badge with pride and have been proud to work for Metro. I would do it all over again and would recommend Metro as a career to anyone seeking a great future.
Head of Metro Operations Delivery, Kevin Storey, said: “We are all going to miss Michael and we wish him well for the future. He has given outstanding service to the Tyne and Wear Metro over the last three decades.
“As a Metro driver he has mentored many trainees over the years, and he managed all of that after beating to cancer and returning to work.
“Michael’s role as a chaplain has also been of huge support to us. He’s provided colleagues with pastoral care when they needed it, showing great warmth, compassion, and empathy. He’ll be a big miss.”