PUTTING a big smile on a lady’s face is exactly what the PKD Festival organisers have done after offering VIP  treatment to a Charlestown wheelchair user and her family. 

The Press recently reported that Vanessa Gallagher, 46, experienced a nightmare journey to and from Edinburgh when the lift on two Stagecoach buses failed, leaving her stuck for five hours. 

Mark Bennett, one of the organisers at PKD, the West Fife music festival that moves from Dalgety Bay to a new home in Rosyth this summer, stepped in to help after reading the story. 

He said: “This lovely young lady was treated terribly, I was horrified to read her story in the Press. Luckily I am in a position to put a smile on people’s face when they haven’t been offered a satisfactory service. So we have offered her and her family and friends a corporate box with VIP status and a meet and greet with Owen Paul.”

A delighted Vanessa said: “That is so lovely. I’m grinning like a loon here! I have been many times before and it’s a great festival. It just shows that there are some great people in the world. 

“It’s put a massive smile on my face and almost makes all the trauma worth it. We have lots of happy memories from the festival and I’m sure that we’ll have more.”

Vanessa and husband Jimmy were celebrating their wedding anniversary with a theatre trip to Edinburgh when the lift became stuck two weeks ago. 

The couple ended up missing most of the first half of the show and when they returned to go home the same thing happened again. It ended with firemen having to lift Vanessa from the bus. 

Mark said: “I’m glad that we can do this for her. It might not be the fancy theatre trip that she wanted but I hope we can bring a smile to her face!”

After the humiliation of the first journey, Vanessa decided last Saturday that she would take another trip to Edinburgh and try again. 

However, she said the wheelchair lift on a Stagecoach bus became stuck again at the Ferrytoll Park and Ride and took 45 minutes to fix. 

Vanessa added: “Luckily we added an extra hour to our journey time just in case this happened but we really didn’t think it would happen again! It proves the incident a fortnight ago is not an isolated incident.”

A spokeswoman for Stagecoach said: “We are extremely concerned to hear about this. 
“We are in direct contact with Mrs Gallagher following the incident she initially raised with us and our investigation concluded that a mechanical fault had caused the lift to break down on that occasion. 

“We are now investigating the cause of the issue with the wheelchair lift on Saturday and we are very sorry that Mrs Gallagher’s experience again appears to have fallen well short of our usual high standards.”