An international speedway driver belongs to an army of recruits hired by online giant Amazon.
The retailer has recruited thousands of employees as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, including workers who have lost their jobs in sectors ranging from education to travel and tourism in recent weeks.
More than 15,000 full-time and part-time positions have been filled across the entire Amazon fulfillment and logistics network.
New recruits range from an arborist, architect, beautician and lifeguard to a pilot, scientists, a singer and tattooists.
Professional speedway driver and American international Ricky Wells, who grew up in California and raced for Birmingham Brummies and Edinburgh Monarchs throughout his career, works at Amazon’s Doncaster site.
He said: “Because of Covid-19, the speedway was stopped all over Europe in late March, along with most other professional sports.
“The closing of the competition has resulted in my sponsors withdrawing from the sport, as well as losing my performance-related pay that I earned from race finish positions.
“I have never worked in a warehouse before, but I like it because it is always busy.
“Everyone is very friendly and it’s great to work with such a diverse group. I can’t count how many times I’ve been asked how a man from California ended up in Doncaster, but I really like Doncaster.
“It has given me a purpose and sent me out of the house, and provided a nice income to turn things around, taking away a lot of the stress I was previously facing.”
Anne Herzog, who previously worked as a barista at international conferences, is now at Amazon’s Peterborough fulfillment center.
She said, “Conferences were canceled one by one and I’m just not used to sitting at home – there is so much relaxation you can enjoy.”