Virgin Media keeping people connected: Bringing Hermes the tortoise home

Hermes the tortoise with his owner Cedar and a Virgin Media engineer
Virgin Media
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
6 July 2021

Virgin Media’s engineers work hard on a daily basis to keep people connected to their loved ones – and sometimes that even includes helping lost tortoises find their way home.

When Cedar Andress found that her 10-year-old Horsfield tortoise Hermes had gone missing from her home in Belfast, she quickly contacted her neighbourhood WhatsApp chat to see if anyone had spotted him. One of her neighbours informed her that they’d seen one of Virgin Media’s field engineers with a tortoise asking passers-by if they knew where he lived.

Unfortunately, that engineer was no longer in the area. But when Cedar contacted the local vet she discovered that the engineer had also called them and been advised to take Hermes to a reptile specialist vet. Cedar got in touch with the local reptile specialist, but Hermes wasn’t there. 

Not sure what to do next, Cedar contacted Virgin Media to see if she could track down the engineer who had picked up Hermes to find out what had happened to him. And the hunt was on...

Hermes the tortoise with his owner Cedar and a Virgin Media engineer
Virgin Media

Clare Jeffs, an executive case manager at Virgin Media, spent six hours tracking down Adrian Patterson, the engineer who had been working on an installation near where Cedar and Hermes live. He had taken Hermes to a local pet shop, Creepy Critters – and it turned out that the owner had taken Hermes home to give him some extra special care and keep him comfy.

“It was a really hot day and the wee critter was wandering near the main road, I didn’t want the little guy to get hurt,” Adrian said.

Virgin Media’s field manager for the area, Chris Collins, went to the pet shop and explained the full story to the owner. And, together with Adrian, they took Hermes home to Cedar, who was so pleased to have him home safely after his 12-day holiday.

Cedar said: “I’m so thankful for Adrian, Chris and Virgin Media’s help in reuniting me with Hermes! When they knocked at my door it was a huge surprise. I can’t thank them enough for going the extra mile, without them both I don’t think I’d have gotten him back.”

Hermes the tortoise positioned in front of a Virgin Media 'Building Connections' signage
Virgin Media

Virgin Media engineers always work hard to help people stay connected – from purchasing a television for vulnerable customers who were isolating, to going above and beyond to keep an NHS nurse online during the pandemic

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